INDIANAPOLIS | Gov.-elect Mike Pence was already on the job Wednesday, meeting with outgoing Gov. Mitch Daniels to plan the transition from Indiana's current Republican administration to its next one.
Pence won't actually take over as governor until Jan. 14 but told reporters he wanted to get started on an "orderly process of transition" to "ensure both continuity and aspiration are the order of the day."
"If anything is true of the last eight years it's that Hoosiers have grown accustomed to results and to a culture of excellence in this administration, and we have every intention of continuing that commitment," Pence said.
Daniels said he and his staff will do "absolutely anything and everything ... to ensure that the hand-off is flawless and that high levels of service continue and that the new administration has every bit of information and cooperation it needs to chart its course and get off to a fast start."
Pence named Bill Smith, his congressional chief of staff, to lead the transition. However, the governor-to-be was vague on whether he'll retain state agency leaders appointed by Daniels.
"We're going to take our time and be thoughtful," Pence said. "We admire the people that are here today; we will look for others to join us in this effort."
He'll have plenty of allies around him — Republicans won walkout-proof majorities in both chambers of the General Assembly on Tuesday.
While Pence acknowledged GOP lawmakers will push their own agendas, especially on abortion and other social issues, Pence said his top goal is enacting the policy proposals in his "Roadmap for Indiana."
"We'll listen to elected members of the state Legislature about issues of a very broad nature, but what we believe Indiana should focus on in the next session of the Legislature is getting this economy moving and getting these schools working for all of our kids," Pence said.
During the transition, the six-term congressman said he will occasionally return to Washington, D.C., to participate in the lame-duck session of the U.S. House.