Sources close to Vice-President Mike Pence says claims by one Republican State Senate candidate that he encouraged her to run against incumbent Jim Merritt are not accurate.

Former Colts Cheerleader Crystal LaMotte is challenging Merritt, in SD 31  saying he is not conservative enough for the district. In a recent Facebook post, LaMotte wrote…

In 2014, after my initial run for State Senate and was defeated by Merritt, I was asked by now Vice President Mike Pence to run again against Merritt in 2018. I told him I would pray about it. I came to the obvious conclusion that I agreed with him, we need new representation in District 31, someone who will not sell out, someone with morals, someone to represent the people, not cave to special interest groups or politicians.

Sources close to the Vice-President say while he likely did tell LaMotte that she should stay involved in politics, it is very highly unlikely that Pence would encourage anyone to run against a sitting Republican officeholder.

LaMotte lost to Merrit in the 2014 primary, 74-25 percent.  The primary is May 8.