The transition from Governor Mitch Daniels to Governor-elect Mike Pence is underway as Pence has begun to assemble his transition team.
Daniels says his administration is eager to help make the transition a smooth one, allowing the new one to hit the ground running. Pence began the process by naming his long-time congressional chief of staff Bill Smith head of the transition team.
Pence praised the Daniels team and says his transition will be committed to continuity.
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.
Brandt Hershman believes Indiana is moving in the right direction and he thinks that is the reason voters chose him for another term.
"I think it's a reflection that many people feel that, even in an uncertain economy nationwide, that Indiana has largely been on the right track, by limiting our spending and focusing on our core priorities," he said.
The State Senator representing District Seven defeated Democratic challenger Brad Thompson for the seat that includes Jasper, White, Carroll, Tippecanoe, Clinton, and Boone counties.
Republican Jane Turner will be Benton County’s new recorder.
She had a three-to-one margin of victory over Democrat Christine McPeters. Her election comes after narrowly defeating the current deputy recorder in the May Primary Election.
Also in Benton County, there will be three new members on the county council.
Republicans Bruce Buchanan, Jack Duncan, and Jack Steele won election. Incumbent Democrat George Patrick Scherer and Democrat Devon Fritz fell short in the race for the three at-large county council seats.
A Republican won the open seat in Indiana House District 13. The district includes all or parts of eight counties: Benton, Fountain, Jasper, Montgomery, Newton, Tippecanoe, Warren and White.
Sharon Negele claimed roughly 59% of the vote over Democrat Mark Straw. She says she’s excited, humbled and proud to represent the district.
"I thought it was a very civil race. I really enjoyed getting to know a lot of people in the area, which I never ventured to before, because it's a brand new district. Overall, it was a clean, comfortable race."
In perhaps the biggest upset of Tuesday’s statewide election, Democrat Glenda Ritz came from behind to unseat GOP incumbent Tony Bennett as Indiana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction.
In her victory speech, Ritz promised to lead the Department of Education as a teacher, not a politician. Relying heavily on grassroots support from the state’s teachers unions, Ritz secured 52% of the vote to defeat Bennett.
“This race should always be an elected position because it is just too important for the people to not have a say regarding the future of Indiana.”