INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - - Former U.S. Rep. Mike Pence became Indiana's 50th governor on Monday, taking the oath in subfreezing conditions from a Statehouse balcony in front of a crowd of supporters and state officials.
The six-term congressman from Columbus succeeds fellow Republican Mitch Daniels, who is leaving the state's top office after eight years.
Pence and his wife, Karen, started their day at a breakfast gathering of campaign supporters after a weekend of activities that included an inaugural ball Saturday night at the Indiana Convention Center attended by about 1,800 people.
Pence defeated Democrat John Gregg in November after a campaign that focused largely on jobs and education. He has said improving the economy and bringing more jobs to the state are his top priorities.
Following in the footsteps of Daniels, Pence used former President Benjamin Harrison's inaugural Bible from the late 1800s to take the oath as governor.
Also being sworn into office were new Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann and re-elected Republican Attorney General Greg Zoeller. New Democratic state schools superintendent Glenda Ritz plans her own formal ceremony at the Statehouse on Saturday.
Pence was expected to meet Monday afternoon with Republican and Democratic leaders of the General Assembly. He is scheduled to give his first State of the State address before legislators on Jan. 22.
Pence and his wife plan to live in the governor's residence on the north side of Indianapolis, which Daniels and wife Cheri never occupied.
Daniels is taking over as the new president of Purdue University.
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