INDIANAPOLIS — Thousands of Hoosiers braved frigid weather to see Mike Pence sworn in as Indiana’s 50th governor Monday morning on the steps of the Indiana Statehouse .
Pence paid homage to outgoing Gov. Mitch Daniels and his administration, saying that Indiana has emerged as a “torch for fiscal responsibility.”
“For many Americans, today is another, if different, time of uncertainty,” he said. “It is a time where the disconnect between those who serve and the served has never seemed wider. Where the common sense of everyday people seems absent from public life. But not here in Indiana. Indiana has chosen a different course.”
Pence frequently drew applause from the throng of supporters and made reference to several historical figures of Indiana lore, including Abraham Lincoln and John Wooden.
“Hoosiers have strong opinions and stronger hearts,” Pence said. “They are hardworking, honest, patriotic, and, best of all, generous to those in need. From the civility of our public discourse, to the selflessness of Hoosier warriors defending us around the world, to the generosity of volunteers serving early morning coffee to first responders in Henryville, I have seen firsthand the goodness and kindness of our people manifest itself in countless ways.”
Just prior to Pence’s speech, Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann took her own oath and promised Hoosiers that they can count on her for the next four years.
“Problems can be solved,” she said. “It is possible to achieve the American dream through education, hard work, long hours, and determination. We are among the very few states where our opportunity outweighs our challenges. As governor Pence and I go to work, know that my focus will always be what is best for Indiana, what is right and just, and what ensures the prosperity of future generations of Hoosiers. I am honored to serve and ready to go to work.”
Following the ceremony, Indiana Republican Party State Chair Eric Holcomb released a statement that read, “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.”
Democratic Party Chair Dan Parker released his own statement, assuring Hoosiers that there would be bipartisan effort on their end to work with Pence.
“We wish Governor Pence the best on his first day in office and we look forward to seeing his full legislative agenda soon,” Parker said. “We hope it will focus, as he pledged, on jobs and the economy and not on issues that will divide our state and put certain Hoosiers at a significant disadvantage.”
Still, there was a throng of peaceful protesters just down the street from where Pence was speaking, saying that they intend to keep a close eye on the administration and noting concern about women’s issues.
“We’re here to send a message that we will be paying attention to the Pence administration and we feel there are some of us that will be under attack, specifically women,” said protester Erin Polley with Central Indiana Jobs with Justice, noting Pence’s decision while in Congress to vote to defund Planned Parenthood.
But overall, the message of the day espoused by Pence and his supporters was one of a hopeful future focused on hard work, job creation, and paying special attention to education.
“Together, we will build a more prosperous future,” Pence said. “Together we will open doors of educational opportunity for all our kids. Together we will approach our third century with confidence. And Indiana will again become a torch of opportunity and hope, inspiring us and our nation.”
Editor’s note: For a complete transcript of Gov. Pence’s inauguration speech, visit the Westside Flyer website at www.flyergroup.com.