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Pence to call Indy home

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INDIANAPOLIS — Gov.-elect Mike Pence will move with his wife, 18-year-old daughter, two cats and a dog into the governor’s residence when he takes office in January, making the family the first full-time inhabitants of the historic home in eight years.

Outgoing two-term Gov. Mitch Daniels and wife, Cheri, spearheaded a $1.2 million effort — all from private donations — to renovate and redecorate the home during the Republican’s first term in office.

But the Daniels family never moved there. The couple stayed instead at their homes first in the Geist Reservoir and then in Carmel, with the governor spending the night in the official residence only occasionally.

Pence, a native of Columbus, said he and his family are “humbled” to move in to the Tudor-style house, which was built in 1928 and became the governor’s residence in 1973.

“It’s a welcoming place in every sense of the word,” he said.

The three-story home includes private spaces plus a wing for entertaining and meetings that was added during Democrat Frank O’Bannon’s administration. The home has two newly renovated kitchens — one for caterers and one for the first family — along with office space for the first lady. There’s also a guest home on the property.

“We’re very excited about it,” Pence said.

The governor-elect joked that his beagle is “in negotiations with the department of administration over a first dog house in the back of the residence.” But he added that if it required a special appropriation, he’d certainly veto it.

Meanwhile, Pence said, he’s planning to head out today for a two-day trip to celebrate the one-month anniversary of his election.

Pence plans to spend today in South Bend and Fort Wayne and on Friday go to Evansville and Terre Haute.

“The purpose of our travel will be to meet with local leaders,” Pence said. “We will be discussing our transition efforts. We will be taking our vision for the next administration to the four corners of the state.”

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