INDIANAPOLIS | Republican Mike Pence has been elected Indiana's 50th governor, defeating Democrat John Gregg on Tuesday in a race Pence led wire-to-wire.
Before a cheering crowd at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Pence said he and Lt. Gov.-elect Sue Ellspermann are "profoundly humble and grateful for the confidence that has been placed in us."
"Tonight you said yes to keep building our future on the common sense and common values that make Indiana great," Pence said. "Tomorrow we will begin to take concrete steps to keep making Indiana the best place in America to live, to work, to go to school, to raise a family."
The six-term congressman from Columbus, Ind., thanked Gregg and Libertarian Rupert Boneham for a spirited campaign, but said he's ready "to put politics aside and work together for the good of Hoosiers."
Pence succeeds term-limited Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels, who leaves behind a state with a $2 billion budget reserve, an annual structural budget surplus and the highest-possible credit rating. Pence thanked Daniels and outgoing Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman in his victory speech
"We hope you see this victory as much as a vote of confidence in your leadership as an affirmation of our vision and our plans for the future," Pence said.
The governor-elect has promised to take Indiana "from good to great" when he takes office in January by implementing his Roadmap for Indiana.
His plan includes a 10 percent reduction in the state's 3.4 percent individual income tax rate, a renewed focus on vocational training in high schools, measures to ensure college students graduate on time and an effort to reduce or eliminate regulations to make Indiana more attractive to businesses.
Gregg warned Hoosiers on the campaign trail that a Pence administration would be focused on divisive social issues legislation, as Pence sought similar measures in Congress.
But Pence insisted his governorship will prioritize education and employment as he seeks to make Indiana "the best place to start a business, grow a business or find a job."
Pence's followed a front-runner strategy throughout his campaign, never even acknowledging Gregg in any of his more than a dozen television ads and remaining relentlessly positive on the campaign trail. Pence also raised and spent more than $12 million compared to Gregg's nearly $6 million.
Gregg drew close to Pence in the final weeks of the campaign, but the Democrat was unable to overcome Pence's advantages in campaign cash and name identification.