Pence sworn in as Indiana's 50th governor

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Six-term congressman Mike Pence is trading Capitol Hill for the Indiana Statehouse as he becomes the state's 50th governor.

Pence was sworn in Monday during a chilly outdoor ceremony at the Statehouse. Fellow Republican Mitch Daniels is handing over the state's reins after eight years as its chief executive.

Pence used his inaugural address Monday morning to say all Hoosiers have a role to play and "a torch to light."

"We have good government, but make no mistake about it-our state is poised for greatness. The core of that greatness remains our people," Pence said in his inauguration speech.

Pence credited outgoing Gov. Mitch Daniels for leaving the state in good condition. But Pence says state government must remain bold because many families and businesses are struggling to get by.

See a slide show of images from the ceremony.

 The former Republican congressman says he also wants to give parents more choices in the education of their children and seek to strengthen institutions that nurture the family.

He says he wants Indiana to "become a torch of opportunity and hope" that inspires the nation.

"Hoosiers have strong opinions and stronger hearts. 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. I say without apology: Indiana is the heart of the heartland because Hoosiers are the best people on earth.

No one pretends that times are easy, or that the challenges we face are small. But we Hoosiers are a resilient lot. It's been that way from the beginning," Gov. Pence said.

He also implored Hoosiers, "Improve yourself and you will improve your state. Invest in Indiana with your time and talent. Tell Indiana's story. If you have a job, work at it as never before. If you serve the people, serve with all your heart. If you can build a business, do. If you can start a business, try. If you have a dream, reach for it. Make your community a better place to live, and we will all have a better life. Raise a child. Read to them and teach them they live in a place where dreams come true, because they do."

Pence defeated Democrat John Gregg in November in a campaign that focused largely on jobs and education. He says improving the economy and bringing more jobs to the state are his top priorities.

Pence and wife Karen plan to live in the governor's residence, which Daniels and wife Cheri never occupied.

Daniels takes over as the new president of Purdue University upon leaving office.

Statement from Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma:

"I congratulate Governor Mike Pence and Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann on their inauguration.

I have known Governor Pence since our law school days; he is a man of great integrity and will lead our state to our shared goals of fiscal integrity and job creation. I have had the privilege of working with Lieutenant Governor Ellspermann when she was a legislator in our chamber. Together, we will reach our mutual goal of taking Indiana 'from good to great.'

I look forward to working with them and wish Governor Pence and Lieutenant Governor Ellspermann all the best in their new roles."

Statement from Indiana Democratic Party Chair Dan Parker:

"We wish Governor Pence the best on his first day in office, and we look forward to seeing his full legislative agenda soon. 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.

"Governing our state is a privilege enjoyed by a rare few among us. The office is trust personified, and the officeholder must live up to the trust Hoosiers have placed in him or her. We look forward to working with Governor Pence on issues where we can find middle ground, and we will hold him accountable if he strays from a common sense agenda for all Hoosiers."

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