Pence sworn in as Indiana's 50th governor



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An hour-by-hour look at how Monday unfolded for Columbus native Mike Pence, who was sworn in as Indiana’s 50th governor.

8:16 a.m.

 Gov.-elect Mike Pence, his wife, Karen, and their son Michael loaded into a black Chevy Tahoe from their McCordsville home so they could head to Indianapolis for the start of their inauguration day events. The Indiana State Police provided an escort.

Mike Pence initially came out of the house without an overcoat, despite the chilly weather, to help with loading the SUV. But he went back inside and re-emerged from the house bundled in a coat.

8:55 a.m.

 Pence, his wife and son walked into Union Station, in downtown Indianapolis, to applause. Pence met campaign volunteers and shook their hands.

The Pences arrived for a breakfast in the Grand Hall and Conference Center. Forty tables seating eight people apiece were set up. Breakfast included, sausage, bacon, eggs, potatoes and sweet rolls.

9:08 a.m.

Lt. Gov.-elect Sue Ellspermann spoke to the breakfast crowd of volunteers.

“We don’t get here alone. It was your time, talent, hard work and most importantly your prayers that got us here,” she said.

9:21 a.m.

 Mike Pence noted the presence in the breakfast crowd of Indiana Republican Party Chairman Eric Holcomb, Indiana Republican Party Vice Chairwoman Sandi Huddleston and Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson.

Karen Pence thanked all the volunteers. The Pences were joined by their children, Michael, Audrey and Charlotte.

“As we raise our right hands today, you the volunteers will be chief among the people to whom we feel appreciation and gratitude. I’ll work every day for the next four years to prove your trust is well placed,” Mike Pence told the crowd.

9:41 a.m.

— People began filing out of Union Station to head to the Statehouse for the 11 a.m. inauguration ceremony.

Pence thanked his wife and three children for their help.

Of Karen he said, “She could have done anything in the world, but all she wanted to do in her life is be a teacher, be in the classroom with kids. She was the first volunteer in the campaign.”

Mike Pence received a standing ovation when he told the crowd that Karen was the “love of his life” and that she “loves God, loves her family and she loves Indiana.”

Bruce Prosser of Kosciusko County gave the benediction, which included political overtones. Prosser called on God to “bring an end to the evil scourge of abortion on demand.”

Mike Pence opposed funding for Planned Parenthood while a member of Congress.

10 a.m. — Members of the Pence family gathered in State Auditor Tim Berry’s office, Room 240 in the Statehouse. In all, more than 30 people attended the get-together shortly after 10 a.m.

They drank coffee and ate pastries as they mingled and shared lots of hugs and handshakes.

“I feel very blessed to be the mother of the governor of Indiana,” said Pence’s mother, Nancy Pence Fritsch.

She later added, “I’m just enjoying the family gathering, being with everybody I love.”

A niece of Mike Pence, Gracie Poynter, of Westfield, said, “I’m very proud of my uncle.”

Poynter said she looked forward to seeing a smile on her uncle’s face during the oath of office.

10:30 a.m. — Family members gathered their coats to head toward the west side of the Statehouse.

10:35 — Twenty-five minutes before the inauguration ceremony began, the most popular spot in front of the Statehouse is where hot chocolate and hand warmer packs were distributed.

Despite the cold, the sun was showing, and scattered clouds were in the sky.

Pearl Swanigan of Indianapolis, a Pence supporter and Republican ward chairwoman in Indy, had kind things to say about Pence.

“He just seems so regular and kind, easy for people to walk up to and walk with. His family the same way,” Swanigan said.

11:02 a.m. — Pence took the podium at the Statehouse.

11:04 a.m. — Pastor Charles Lake asked that God protect the educators and students of the state so that they can teach and learn in a safe environment. He then asked that the mentally disabled get the help that they need. Lake also asked that God give Pence the strength to stay true to his conviction and to choose conviction over compromise. Lake then also prayed for President Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress and asked that God bring them together to make tough decisions to revive the economy.

11:08 a.m. — The Indiana National Guard presented the colors, and former Miss America Katie Stam of Seymour sang the national anthem.

11:11 — Fourth-graders from St. Bartholomew School in Columbus helped lead the Pledge of Allegiance.

11:19 — Sue Ellspermann was sworn in as lieutenant governor.

11:26 — Pence was sworn in as governor.

11:30 — As steam rose from nearby manhole covers, spectators near the Indiana Government Center South grabbed some free hot coffee, hot chocolate and hot cider to battle the frigid temperatures. Most of the spectators were dressed for the weather, but some, who shook their legs to stay warm, clearly wished they had brought a few more layers. Some state employees used their lunch break for a quick visit, grabbed some free coffee and caramel corn and headed back to their offices.

11:38 — Pence said during his inaugural address: “Improve yourself and you will improve this state. ... If you serve the people, serve with all your heart.”

Pence also said that during the next four years he wanted to make Indiana the place with quality jobs, good schools, safer streets and strong families.

During his speech, Pence referenced President Abraham Lincoln, college basketball coach John Wooden and God. He also singled out two former Indiana governors in the audience: Evan Bayh and Mitch Daniels.

Pence said Bayh’s “youthful energy” defined Indiana for the 1990s. Of Daniels, Pence said, “It’s a good thing I’m succeeding you because no one will ever replace you.”

11:46 — The 38th Infantry Band played “On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away” to bring the ceremony to a close.

12:25 p.m. — Gov. Pence prayed in the meditation room in the Statehouse, Room 432 on the top floor. Three pastors stood behind him and placed their hands on his shoulders and prayed that Pence “find rest, comfort and peace in Christ.”

About 15 people were in the room. Some people took pictures on their smartphones, others bowed their heads in prayer.

2:30 — Pence performed his first initial task as governor by signing executive orders, including six that are new.

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