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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. From the story: "The city of Indianapolis also will consider tax incentives and funding for infrastructure required for the project, according to IEDC." Why would the City need to consider additional tax incentives when Lowe's has already bought the land and reached an agreement with IEDC to bring the jobs? What that tells me is that the City has already pledged the incentives, unofficially, and they just haven't had time to push it through the MDC yet. Either way, subsidizing $10/hour jobs is going to do nothing toward furthering the Mayor's stated goal of attracting middle and upper-middle class residents to Marion County.

  2. Ron Spencer and the entire staff of Theater on the Square embraced IndyFringe when it came to Mass Ave in 2005. TOTS was not only a venue but Ron and his friends created, presented and appeared in shows which embraced the 'spirit of the fringe'. He's weathered all the storms and kept smiling ... bon voyage and thank you.

  3. Not sure how many sushi restaurants are enough, but there are three that I know of in various parts of downtown proper and all are pretty good.

  4. First off, it's "moron," not "moran." 2nd, YOU don't get to vote on someone else's rights and freedoms that are guaranteed by the US Constitution. That's why this is not a state's rights issue...putting something like this to vote by, well, people like you who are quite clearly intellectually challenged isn't necessary since the 14th amendment has already decided the issue. Which is why Indiana's effort is a wasted one and a waste of money...and will be overturned just like this has in every other state.

  5. Rick, how does granting theright to marry to people choosing to marry same-sex partners harm the lives of those who choose not to? I cannot for the life of me see any harm to people who choose not to marry someone of the same sex. We understand your choice to take the parts of the bible literally in your life. That is fine but why force your religious beliefs on others? I'm hoping the judges do the right thing and declare the ban unconstitutional so all citizens of Wisconsin and Indiana have the same marriage rights and that those who chose someone of the same sex do not have less rights than others.

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