Governor expected to focus on economy, vocational education

GREENFIELD — Monday’s inauguration of Mike Pence as Indiana’s 50th governor will mark a new era of leadership but not necessarily a new direction in state government, local observers say.

Hancock County’s elected officials and political observers say the new Republican governor will follow the same direction of his predecessor, Gov. Mitch Daniels. With a nod to differences in leadership style and a few new areas of focus, locals expect a spotlight on the state’s economy and vocational education from the fiscally conservative Pence.

“In some respects, the focus has to be different because when Daniels took office, we had some serious deficits, so that had to be job No. 1,” said Beverly Gard, former state senator. “When (Daniels) improved our fiscal condition, he could really work on job creation, from transportation infrastructure to Daylight Savings Time. Mike Pence has inherited the situation most governors come into: a situation where the state is in such good shape.”

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