After months of assumption that he’d win the race easily, it came as little surprise Tuesday when Republican Congressman Mike Pence was elected the 50th governor in state history.
Though the race appeared to narrow in recent weeks, Pence’s lead was too much to overcome for Democrat John Gregg. Pence’s platform throughout the campaign was positive, rarely engaging in what were almost constant attacks from Gregg.
The six-term congressman sought to build on the popularity and success of retiring Governor Mitch Daniels. And Tuesday night after learning he had defeated Gregg by more than three points, the governor-elect began to reach out to those who didn’t support him.
“I will always respect our differences and I will work every day to earn your trust as we build a more prosperous future for the people of our state.”
Pence’s policy proposals include an across-the-board, 10% cut of income taxes, increased vocational education in high schools and an emphasis on public-private partnerships in higher education.
The governor-elect will have help in a more Republican General Assembly. House Republicans are celebrating now that they have captured a quorum-proof majority in the chamber.
Republicans – who had 60 seats in the House last term – needed to reach 67 to gain a quorum-proof majority in the state’s lower chamber. Many considered that key after Democrats walked out the last two sessions to hold up legislative business.
The minority caucus will no longer have that option. But House Speaker Brian Bosma says a super majority was never his goal.
“It won’t change how we conduct business. In fact, it may very well take more cooperation and outreach to the other side than before to be sure that the process is proper.”
The House will also welcome at least 20 new members to its ranks this year. Combined with a large freshman class in 2010, it will be a largely inexperienced chamber. But Bosma says he has confidence in his senior leadership team to guide new members.