Gov. Mike Pence takes his oath of office

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By Zach Osowski

Braving temperatures in the 20s, Gov. Mike Pence took the oath

to serve as Indiana's 50th governor Monday, promising in his speech to keep

Indiana on its current path of fiscal responsibility so that the state can be a

"torch" for other states to follow.

"This is our time to shine," Pence, a Republican, said

as more than 1,500 onlookers bundled in hats, gloves and heavy coats looked on.

"Our state is poised for greatness."

The new governor sat in President William Henry Harrison's chair

during much the ceremony and he used a Bible that belonged to President

Benjamin Harrison.

Indiana Chief Justice Brent Dickson administered the oath to

Pence, as well as Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann and

Attorney General Greg Zoeller.

Among the onlookers were former governors Mitch Daniels, a

Republican, and Evan Bayh, a Democrat. Pence thanked

them both for their leadership and Daniels especially for his eight years of

service. He said that Daniels put Indiana on a track that makes it the envy of

many other states.

"It's a good thing I'm only succeeding you, because no one

will ever replace you," Pence said to Daniels.

While Pence is saving most of his legislative agenda for the

upcoming State of the State address on Jan. 22, he did mention a few things

about the budget and education.

"We must continue to live within our means," Pence

said. "Hold the line on spending. And let Hoosiers keep more of their hard

earned income. We dare not squander this opportunity. We want to leave our

communities and families better."

He talked about the challenges of education and said that they

can fix the problems with the system. He said that his wife, Karen, who is a

teacher, never fails to remind him that Indiana has the very best teachers.

"We must work together to put kids first," Pence said.

"There's nothing that ails our schools that can't be fixed by giving

parents more choices and teachers more freedom to teach."

Democrats said they were looking forward to working with Pence

during this session and seeing what steps he will take during his first term.

"We look forward to seeing his full legislative agenda

soon," said Dan Parker, chair of the Indiana Democratic Party. "We

hope it will focus, as he pledged, on jobs and the economy and not on issues

that will divide our state."

Pence said that Indiana is "the heart of the heartland"

and that the men and women who made the territory a state were hard working

individuals. He also spoke at length about Indiana's flag, saying the torch

emblazoned in the center signified light in a dark

time for the nation. He said that once again, Indiana is poised to be a light

for other states to follow.

"For many Americans, today is another time of uncertainty,"

Pence said. "It is a time where the disconnect between those who serve and

the served has never seemed wider. But not here in Indiana.

Indiana has chosen a different course."

Union protestors could be heard shouting down the street from

the inaugural ceremony. They were upset at changes the Department of Workforce

Development recently made.

"We had already planned this day to come out and protest,"

said GrigitteYancy,

president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local

3826. "We forgot about the inauguration."

Pence said he was thankful for the trust Hoosiers had put in him

and promised to honor that trust.

"The time is now and the air is cold," Pence said. "So

let's get back inside and get to work. The best is yet to come."

After the ceremony, Pence and Ellspermann

went into the governor's office and signed documents making the transition into

their respective offices official.

Zach Osowski is a reporter for, a news

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