Mitch Daniels

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Mitch Daniels
Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr..jpg
Governor of Indiana
From: January 10, 2005 – Present
PredecessorJoseph Kernan
SuccessorIncumbent (no successor)
Information
Party Republican
Spouse(s) Cheri Lynn Herman Daniels
Religion Presbyterian

Mitchell Elias "Mitch" Daniels, Jr. (born April 7, 1949) is the Republican Governor of Indiana. He began his four-year term as Indiana's 49th Governor on January 10, 2005 and was elected to his second term on November 4, 2008. Previously he served as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under the Bush administration.

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Political Career

Daniels was raised in Indianapolis and graduated from Princeton University, Indiana University School of Law, and Georgetown University. He began his political career when becoming an intern for Indianapolis Mayor Richard Lugar and went on to become Lugar’s chief of staff during his first term in the Senate (1977-1983). Additionally, he served as Executive Director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, playing a major role in the successful effort to keep Republican control of the U.S. Senate. [1] In 1985 Daniels became deputy assistant for intergovernmental affairs during the Reagan administration.

Daniels went on to serve top leadership positions in the private sector, becoming President of Eli Lilly and Company's North American Pharmaceutical Operations and CEO of the Hudson Institute. After liquidating $27 million in stock holdings [2], he retired in 2001 to become Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

In 2003 Daniels launched a campaign for Governor of Indiana. He traveled across all 92 counties with green-and-white slogans entitled "my man Mitch." President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and First Lady Laura Bush all made appearances for him. Pundits speculated that Lieutenant Governor Joseph Kernan would seek the Democratic nomination, however he announced that he would not run in December 2002. The landscape of the race changed in September 2003, when two-term Democratic Governor Frank O'Bannon suffered a fatal stroke. Kernan was sworn in as the acting-Governor, and announced he would seek a full term.

The state was facing job loses in the manufacturing sector, with the public blaming local Democrats. Daniels defeated Kernan by a 53%-45% margin. Additionally, Republicans took control of the State House and increased their majority in the State Senate.

Record as Governor

Daniels inherited a $645 million budget shortfall. In his first two years in office Daniels had taken successful (but some controversial) steps to improve the economy. He created the private Indiana Economic Development Corporation to replace a government-run agency, and created the state's first Office of Management and Budget. Within a year Indiana had it's first balanced budget in eight years and the state had an annual surplus of $370 million. In 2005, Daniels endorsed switching Indiana's central time zone to an eastern time zone, saying that businesses outside of the state couldn't keep track of what time it was in Indiana. [3]

Daniels established the 10-year "major moves" transportation plan that privatized the Indiana Toll Road, the largest privatization of public infrastructure in United States history. Some of Daniels policies were rejected by the general assembly, such as a plan to privatize the Hoosier Lottery and a 1% increase in the sales tax in return for a cap on property taxes. Governor Daniels was easily reelected in 2008 by a 58%-40% margin, despite Democrat Barack Obama winning Indiana's 11 electoral votes in the presidential election. Some Republican leaders have urged Daniels to run for the Presidency in 2012, although he has remained reluctant. He has been a vocal critic of the Obama administration. [4] [5]

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