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Pence to retain 3 Daniels aides in current posts


– Gov.-elect Mike Pence tapped three more holdovers from the current administration Wednesday and will head out on a victory lap of sorts today.

It has been one month since Pence was elected the state’s 50th governor.

“In the intervening weeks, we have been working tirelessly to lay a foundation of people and policies that will take Indiana from good to great,” he said.

Pence named Anita Samuel as head of the State Personnel Department. She is currently general counsel to Gov. Mitch Daniels.

Also, current Department of Revenue Commissioner Mike Alley and Department of Administration Commissioner Rob Wynkoop will remain.

Pence praised the three and commented on the process of trying to fill cabinet and senior leadership posts.

“Our challenge in the last month has been a unique one,” he said. “It has been a challenge to not only recruit but retain the men and women who have brought Indiana to the point that we are today and are in a position to help us build on that progress over the next four years.”

Pence did note there will be appointments from outside state government in the coming weeks but said he is not biased either way. He is still assessing a number of key positions, noting there are about 60 state agencies and some additional leadership posts to fill.

“My own leadership style is pretty hands on,” Pence said of the slow pace so far. “When it comes to senior-level staff and more importantly to Cabinet-level personnel, I like to sit down and look people in the eye.”

Pence last week appointed Chris Atkins as head of the Indiana Office of Management and Budget but said he is still wrestling with whether there will be a separate budget director named to focus on crafting a new spending plan.

He has asked agency heads to indicate their level of interest in staying or leaving but hasn’t formally sought resignations.

Pence is hitting the road the next few days to mark the one-month anniversary of his election.

Pence will visit South Bend, Fort Wayne, Evansville and Terre Haute, where he will meet with local leaders about the transition efforts.