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Pence preps for 'season of service'

INDIANAPOLIS – Governor-elect Mike Pence moved quickly into transition mode Wednesday – naming a director for the effort and promising to ensure continuity and aspiration are the order of the day.

"The election season is over and now a season of service begins," he said.

Pence scored a tight victory over Democrat John Gregg 50 percent to 44 percent with Libertarian Rupert Boneham receiving the remaining votes.

He had a joint meeting with the press in Gov. Mitch Daniels' office Wednesday morning to focus on what's ahead.

Pence named longtime congressional chief of staff Bill Smith as leader of the transition efforts and said more team members would be announced later today.

Daniels promised to give Pence "absolutely anything and everything we can … to ensure the handoff is flawless."

Eight years ago the transition was much more complex because it was moving from Democrat to Republican hands.

By law, space in the Statehouse, phones, equipment and a small stipend is available to Pence.

He was complimentary of current agency leadership but wouldn't be specific about whether key agency heads might stay or go.

Niki Kelly is Statehouse Bureau chief for The Journal Gazette.

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