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Pence travels Indiana to thank supporters, voters

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Gov.-elect Mike Pence pledged to work with both parties to improve Indiana's economy but sidestepped potential political minefields as he hit the road Thursday for a two-day trip to thank supporters who helped him win the governor's office.

Pence's first stop was at the Top Notch Restaurant in South Bend, where he met with Republican supporters in a back room before greeting diners. He also planned stops in Fort Wayne, Evansville and Terre Haute later Thursday and Friday.

The stops were a rare public appearance for Pence, who has spent the month since the election largely out of the public eye as he builds his cabinet and focuses on the transition from Gov. Mitch Daniels' administration to his.

He said the two-day swing was designed to say thanks.

"I'm here to pay a debt of gratitude," Pence said. "My family has been humbled and amazed at the opportunity that we've been afforded."

Pence won the election with slightly less than 50 percent of the vote, making him the first Indiana governor in nearly a century to win the office without support of a majority of voters. Even though Republicans hold supermajorities in the state Senate and House of Representatives, Pence said he will try to work with Democrats to get things done.

Pence avoided reporters' questions about how he would handle social issues such as a ban on gay marriage if they come up in the legislative session that begins in January, stressing that that the job creation he campaigned on as part of his "road map" for Indiana is his priority.

"The Legislature will have agenda items they want to consider. We'll take them one at a time. But our focus is going to be on bringing our road map to the Legislature and to the people of Indiana," he said.

"We have 8-percent unemployment in Indiana, we've got a quarter million Hoosiers out of work. ... We're going to work with legislators of both political parties to do everything we can to get this economy moving in Indiana and make Indiana even more attractive for investment in ways that it will create jobs," he said.

Mike Gleissner, 59, a furnace operator at Honeywell, said he hoped Pence could deliver on his jobs promise. He also hopes to see more of Pence in northern Indiana once he takes office.

"I hope he keeps making trips up here so we can keep voicing our opinions to him," he said.

Bruce Eaton, a 65-year-old retiree from South Bend, said it was good to see Pence out in the community and had a bit of advice for the incoming governor.

"If he don't raise our taxes, he might get a second term," Eaton said.

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  • Time to quit campaigning
    You should answer questions about your stand on issues,Mike. You won. Time to own up.

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  1. I never thought I'd see the day when a Republican Mayor would lead the charge in attempting to raise every tax we have to pay. Now it's income taxes and property taxes that Ballard wants to increase. And to pay for a pre-K program? Many studies have shown that pre-K offer no long-term educational benefits whatsoever. And Ballard is pitching it as a way of fighting crime? Who is he kidding? It's about government provided day care. It's a shame that we elected a Republican who has turned out to be a huge big spending, big taxing, big borrowing liberal Democrat.

  2. Why do we blame the unions? They did not create the 11 different school districts that are the root of the problem.

  3. I was just watching an AOW race from cleveland in 1997...in addition to the 65K for the race, there were more people in boats watching that race from the lake than were IndyCar fans watching the 2014 IndyCar season finale in the Fontana grandstands. Just sayin...That's some resurgence modern IndyCar has going. Almost profitable, nobody in the grandstands and TV ratings dropping 61% at some tracks in the series. Business model..."CRAZY" as said by a NASCAR track general manager. Yup, this thing is purring like a cat! Sponsors...send them your cash, pronto!!! LOL, not a chance.

  4. I'm sure Indiana is paradise for the wealthy and affluent, but what about the rest of us? Over the last 40 years, conservatives and the business elite have run this country (and state)into the ground. The pendulum will swing back as more moderate voters get tired of Reaganomics and regressive social policies. Add to that the wave of minority voters coming up in the next 10 to 15 years and things will get better. unfortunately we have to suffer through 10 more years of gerrymandered districts and dispropionate representation.

  5. Funny thing....rich people telling poor people how bad the other rich people are wanting to cut benefits/school etc and that they should vote for those rich people that just did it. Just saying..............

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