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Four years ago I took this same oath to serve the state of Indiana “to the best of my skill and ability.” There have been challenges - such as serving the victims of our state fair tragedy - that tested the limits of everyone’s skill and ability.
But I hope that I have lived up to the honor given me to represent the people of this great state and all those who work in service to the public.
I’ve spent the last few weeks thanking those who helped me have the opportunity to continue to serve as your Attorney General.
Indiana has been blessed with remarkable leaders in our three branches of government - Governor Daniels, Chief Justice Shepard, Speaker Bosma, Senator Long and legislators from both parties.
I consider myself fortunate to have been the attorney general during these leaders’ tenure.
Bold, visionary leadership presents challenges for the lawyers who are tasked with representing our state. But my role would not have been as fulfilling without these challenges.
And during these next four years with our new governor – (my new client) – Mike Pence, Indiana faces a unique challenge - one that many would envy.
The challenge of making the most of the opportunity we have been given.
Expectations are high and the public has every right to ask that we meet these expectations.
Good is simply not good enough.
And so I welcome the chance to partner with, and serve, Governor Pence as he “takes Indiana from good to great!”
For my own part I too accept Hoosier’s higher expectations.
My office will endeavor to serve the three, coequal branches of government and build bridges between their separate authorities by convening a coalition of our clients in common purpose.
Many of our challenges require each of the separate branches to cooperate and support each other’s efforts to address complex issues.
The Office of the Attorney General will strive to become a “force multiplier” within government.
And I also plan to work in partnership with attorneys general across the nation – in both parties who each represent the sovereign authority of our sister states.
Representing the bold leadership of a state requires more than defending it when challenged in court.
Under our constitutional system of federalism we must strengthen and reassert our role as part of the necessary checks and balances on our federal government.
In my view, we must do more to reestablish our state sovereignty and push back overzealous encroachment by the federal government.
So today, as I once again take an oath to serve “to the best of my skill and ability,” and working in common purpose with our elected leaders and our sister states … collectively we must rise to the occasion to meet the high expectations of Hoosiers to serve the state we are proud to call home.
And so each morning, when I begin my day reciting the "lawyer’s prayer" of Saint Thomas More, I will be grateful for this privilege to be lawyer and servant for Indiana during these days of great opportunity.
And I ask God to help our efforts and bless the people of Indiana.