Pence takes oath of office to become Indiana’s 50th governor

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INDIANAPOLIS – Mike Pence took the oath of office Monday morning in front of hundreds of supporters gathered outside the Statehouse to become Indiana’s 50th governor.

Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Dickson administered the oath to Pence just before 11:30 a.m.

“I am humbled by your trust, and honored that you have chosen me to serve,” Pence said in his inaugural address. “I am eager to be the governor of all the people of Indiana.”

Pence also thanked now-former Governor Mitch Daniels.

“On behalf of a grateful people, I thank you and Cheri for all your service, for leaving our state the fiscal and administrative envy of the nation,” Pence said. “You leave office the most respected governor in America. It’s a good thing I am only succeeding you, because no one can ever replace you.”

Pence’s address also touched on the economy, and the importance of family.

“With so many families and businesses struggling just to get by, we have no choice but to remain bold, optimistic and relentless in our work until good jobs, great schools, safe streets and strong families become the hallmark of every community in this state,” he said.

Supporters told Fox59 they were enthusiastic about the state’s new governor.

“He’s just a downhome boy,” said Tom Going, who came to the ceremony from Columbus, Pence’s hometown.

“I think he really earned his spot as governor and he’s going to do a good job,” Going said. “I know everyone won’t agree with what he’s going to do, but many will and I think he’ll have the support of the majority of Hoosiers.”

After the inaugural ceremony, Pence signed several executive orders and met with leaders from both parties.

“It was a very invigorating first meeting, I thought the governor was very gracious,” said House Minority Leader Scott Pelath. “There’s going to be points of disagreement, but we don’t need to be like Washington. When there are things we agree on, we ought to be able to work together on those things.”

Inauguration festivities started on Saturday, kicking off the three-day celebration. Aside from the ball Saturday night, all other events were free to the public. A prayer and worship service Sunday afternoon featured local choirs and bands, as many younger families attended.

“We wanted to make families kind of the center of the start of the inauguration,” First Lady Karen Pence said. “I’ve taught for 25 years and we wanted children to have an opportunity to come meet Gov.-elect Pence.”

Indiana Republican Party State Chairman Eric Holcomb issued the following statement Monday:

“We have officially passed the torch from one great Republican governor to our next great Republican governor. With Governor Mike Pence and Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann at the helm, Indiana’s greatest days lie ahead.

“There’s a reason why Indiana is recognized as a beacon of hope and an example of success. Our Republican leaders have brought more jobs, less debt and lower taxes through fiscal discipline and a focus on creating the most attractive state for growth in the country. Other states can learn a thing or two from Indiana and that success will continue under the leadership of Governor Pence and Lt. Gov. Ellspermann. We are lucky to have yet another dynamic duo at the helm of state government, fighting to protect Hoosier taxpayers and families every single day.”