Mike Pence reviews the good and bad of 2013

December 13th, 2013 at 2:34 pm by under Jim Shella's Political Blog

Mike Pence feels good about his first year in office but he also has some regrets.  The Republican governor sat down Friday to look back on 2013 in a one-on-one interview.

Mike Pence is enthusiastic about being governor.  “This job is the greatest privilege of my life,” he said.

He took the oath of office in January replacing the popular Mitch Daniels and says the best accomplishment of his first year is simply staying the course.

He loves talking about the state’s balanced budget and big surplus.  But he also recognizes problems that include his battle with Democratic state school Superintendent Glenda Ritz.

The creation of a new office of Education and Career Innovation led her to accuse him of a power grab.

“I have no doubt that at the outset of this office,” he said, “we could have done a better job explaining our purpose and intention.”

“And I’ve expressed that to the Superintendent.”

And there may be no better example of how the Pence Administration has endured a learning curve than the controversy over comments removed from his official facebook page.

He was accused of censorship and apologized for it.

“I really regret that the actions that our staff took on some of our social media platforms created any impression of people that would suggest,” he said, “that we don’t cherish a free and open debate in Indiana.”

And while lawmakers didn’t buy his call for a 10% cut in the state income tax, they passed a smaller cut and eliminated the inheritance tax.

“I say without hesitation,” said Pence, “I think the final product was better than what I first proposed.”

He’s now looking forward to some time off over the holidays but, before that, he has one more big move to take.

Pence will name a new State Auditor on Monday replacing Dwayne Sawyer, who lasted just 4 months in the job.  The governor said he reached his decision on a successor for Sawyer but isn’t ready to make it public.

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