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Eric Holcomb sworn in as Lt. Governor

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Eric Holcomb took the oath of office to become Lieutenant Governor Thursday.

It’s the final step in an unprecedented changing of the guard in state government.

Holcomb is now Lieutenant Governor but more importantly, he is the running mate for Mike Pence in his bid for re-election replacing Sue Ellspermann on the ticket.

It’s a turn of events that is designed to improve the odds that Pence will be re-elected.

The state Senate cast a unanimous vote to insure that Eric Holcomb would take office, but first, Minority Leader Tim Lanane pointed out the political nature of the Holcomb selection.

“You know, there are questions,” he said. “There are questions as to why this is all happening especially with only months to go in the remainder of this term and with an election looming out there.”

Holcomb, a former state GOP chairman, took the oath in a brief but crowded ceremony outside the governor’s office.

Mike Pence’s comments were focused on government.

“I say with conviction,” he said, “I believe Eric Holcomb may be the best prepared person to ever assume the duties of Lt. Governor of the state of Indiana.”

Holcomb talked about his love for Indiana.

“Past work assignments have taken me to Madrid and Jerusalem and Beijing,” he said, “but, as Dorothy said, there is no place like home.”

But Holcomb’s new job will include an effort to unite Republicans behind Mike Pence.

Holcomb dropped a bid for U.S. Senate to take the new job, a job that he told the crowd he never sought.

He will bring a new chief of staff with him but otherwise will work with the same group of people who served former Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann.