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GOP's Pence wins election as Indiana governor

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Republican Mike Pence won election Tuesday as Indiana governor, extending his party's control of the state's top office at the same time voters ousted the incumbent GOP state schools superintendent.

Pence defeated Democrat John Gregg by a margin that was significantly less than what Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney captured to carry the state.

"Tomorrow a season of service begins," Pence told supporters in declaring victory. "I will work every day to earn your trust as we build a more prosperous future for all the people of our state."

Democrat Glenda Ritz defeated Republican state schools Superintendent Tony Bennett in what many viewed as a referendum on the education overhauls that Bennett had pushed. Republican Attorney General Greg Zoeller won a second term as the state's top lawyer, and Republicans were adding to their advantage in the General Assembly.

Pence's victory followed a campaign in which he started as the better-known candidate and had a strong fundraising advantage in the race to succeed term-limited GOP Gov. Mitch Daniels.

With about 95 percent of the statewide vote tallied, Pence had about 50 percent of the vote to about 46 percent for Gregg. That compared with about 54 percent for GOP presidential candidate Romney, who carried the state.

Pence has been in Congress for the past 12 years, gaining national prominence as a social conservative. He focused his campaign on economic issues and brushed off attacks suggesting that he will push contentious social issues, even as he proposed using traditional marriage as a tool to reduce poverty and improve the economy.

Pence said he hoped Daniels would see his victory as a vote of confidence in the governor's agenda over the past eight years.

"This is not our moment, this is Indiana's moment," Pence said. "Because of the progress we've made in the past eight years, Indiana is on the verge of an era of growth and opportunity."

Gregg called his campaign a roller coaster ride.

"I've been humbled by it, I've been educated by it, I've been touched by it," Gregg said. "It was the experience of a lifetime."

Gregg, a former Indiana House speaker, positioned himself as a candidate who would bring a bipartisan approach to the governor's office.

That appealed to Jordan Fischer, 25, of Indianapolis, who said he was worried about most of his friends leaving the state after college.

"I found Pence to be very divisive," Fischer said. "I found his stance on most social issues to be disagreeable."

But Daniels' popularity boosted Pence among some voters.

"A lot of it for me is feeling comfortable with Pence continuing to carry on the initiatives put in place by Gov. Daniels," said Joe Reece, a 34-year-old software salesman who was in line when the polls opened at his precinct on the north side of Indianapolis.

Republicans entered Tuesday's election holding strong majorities in both chambers of the General Assembly.

Republicans retained a majority in the 100-member Indiana House, but it was uncertain whether they would win the two-thirds supermajority they sought so they could conduct business even if no Democrats are present. That push follows walkouts by House Democrats the past two years to stall action on the GOP-backed right-to-work law and other labor and education proposals.

Republicans maintained the supermajority they have in the state Senate.

Republicans had a 60-40 House advantage the past two years.

Republicans won at least six House seats from Democrats — defeating Democratic Reps. Win Moses of Fort Wayne, Peggy Welch of Bloomington and Phil Pflum of Richmond and capturing three open seats given up by retiring Democrats.

In a matchup of two incumbents in southwestern Indiana, Democratic Rep. Kreg Battles of Vincennes held an 89-vote advantage over Republican Rep. Bruce Borders of Jasonville out of nearly 25,000 votes cast.

Democrat Christina Hale held 44-vote lead over Republican Rep. Cindy Noe of Indianapolis, and a Democrat won an open seat in Indianapolis previously held by the GOP.

Many teachers backed Democratic candidate Ritz against Bennett, who pushed for approval of the state's private school voucher program and has overseen the first state takeover of troubled public schools.

Zoeller, who faced Democrat Kay Fleming, has defended in court a GOP-backed state law seeking to cut off much of Planned Parenthood's government funding because it provides abortions. He joined other Republican state attorneys general in challenging the federal health care overhaul.

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  • Radical Choice
    When healthcare for this nation is equated to 9/11, some kind of reality check is missing in a candidate. When a Congressman panders to Indiana on his website about an secondary jet engine that would cost us a billion that Gates didn't even want, you know reality is secondary to how Pence thinks. No telling what will happen when Pence gets in.
  • Pence Mysticism
    One of the reasons I opposed him so strongly. I want level headed, data-based, fact-based logical decisions. Not his bigoted, self righteous, mystically infuenced mumbo jumbo.
  • Seperation of Church & State
    Who was the first person Mike Pence thanked in his Governor acceptance speech lat night? His wife? His family? His supporters? Voters? No He passionately thanked GOD. If you thought Richard Murdock was a tea party nut regarding his "God's intent" remark, you haven't seen anything yet from Mike Pence. Eric Miller's Advance America just took over the state. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7DjkCzpzdE

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    1. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

    2. My responses to some of the comments would include the following: 1. Our offer which included the forgiveness of debt (this is an immediate forgiveness and is not "spread over many years")represents debt that due to a reduction of interest rates in the economy arguably represents consideration together with the cash component of our offer that exceeds the $2.1 million apparently offered by another party. 2. The previous $2.1 million cash offer that was turned down by the CRC would have netted the CRC substantially less than $2.1 million. As a result even in hindsight the CRC was wise in turning down that offer. 3. With regard to "concerned Carmelite's" discussion of the previous financing Pedcor gave up $16.5 million in City debt in addition to the conveyance of the garage (appraised at $13 million)in exchange for the $22.5 million cash and debt obligations. The local media never discussed the $16.5 million in debt that we gave up which would show that we gave $29.5 million in value for the $23.5 million. 4.Pedcor would have been much happier if Brian was still operating his Deli and only made this offer as we believe that we can redevelop the building into something that will be better for the City and City Center where both Pedcor the citizens of Carmel have a large investment. Bruce Cordingley, President, Pedcor

    3. I've been looking for news on Corner Bakery, too, but there doesn't seem to be any info out there. I prefer them over Panera and Paradise so can't wait to see where they'll be!

    4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

    5. The Pedcor debt is from the CRC paying ~$23M for the Pedcor's parking garage at City Center that is apprased at $13M. Why did we pay over the top money for a private businesses parking? What did we get out of it? Pedcor got free parking for their apartment and business tenants. Pedcor now gets another building for free that taxpayers have ~$3M tied up in. This is NOT a win win for taxpayers. It is just a win for Pedcor who contributes heavily to the Friends of Jim Brainard. The campaign reports are on the Hamilton County website. http://www2.hamiltoncounty.in.gov/publicdocs/Campaign%20Finance%20Images/defaultfiles.asp?ARG1=Campaign Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim

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