After months of assumption that would 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.
“Tonight you said yes to less red tape, education reform, making sure schools work for all of our kids, to keep building our future on the common sense and common values that make Indiana great,” Pence said in his victory speech. “This is not our moment, This is Indiana’s moment.”
The six-term congressman sought to build on the popularity and success of retiring Governor Mitch Daniels. And after learning he had defeated Gregg by more than three points, the governor-elect began to reach out to those who did not 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 said, adding he would retain Richard Mourdock in his current position as treasurer. Mourdock lost to Democrat Joe Donnelly in the U.S. Senate race.
Pence’s policy proposals include an across-the-board, ten percent cut of income taxes, increased vocational education in high schools and an emphasis on public-private partnerships in higher education.
Gregg congratulated Pence and encouraged his Democratic supporters to back him.
“He’s been a friend of mine for over 30 years, and we need to unite as a state behind him,” Gregg said. “I told him that he would be in my prayers and best wishes and I say that sincerely, I want to wish him nothing but success because we are all truly in it together.”
Democratic Lt. Gov. candidate Vi Simpson said all Indiana residents want good jobs, great public schools and a future for their grandkids.
“Those things are real Hoosier values, and those things are worth fighting for,” Simpson said.
She congratulated Pence, saying it is time for both parties to work together.