In past speeches on the campaign trail, Pence has said repeatedly that jobs, the economy and education were his top priorities for the state, and not the social issues he championed as a social conservative while in Congress, which included defunding Planned Parenthood.
A small group of protesters gathered near the Statehouse held signs that said, “Gov. Pence: We’re watching you.”
“We’re just going to be paying attention to his policies, specifically around women’s, immigrants’ and workers’ rights,” said Erin Polley, with the pro-labor Central Indiana Jobs with Justice organization. “We feel like they’re going to be under attack the next four years.”
The Indiana Democratic Party was quick to send out a post-inaugural statement wishing Pence well, but also poking him as well.
“We wish Governor Pence the best on his first day in office, and we look forward to seeing his full legislative agenda soon,” said party chairman Dan Parker. “We hope it will focus, as he pledged, on jobs and the economy and not on issues that will divide our state and put certain Hoosiers at a significant disadvantage.”
Also sworn in Monday was Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann, Pence’s running mate and former legislator from Ferdinand, and Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, who was re-elected for a second term in November.
In his speech, Zoeller said Indiana needed to do to more to “push back overzealous encroachment by the federal government.”
He didn’t say what that “encroachment” was, but said Indiana should do more “to re-establish our state sovereignty.”
Pence was scheduled to meet Monday afternoon with Republican and Democratic leaders of the Indiana General Assembly. Pence’s first State of the State speech, delivered to legislators and other state officials, is scheduled for Jan. 22.