For Indiana Republicans, inauguration is time to celebrate

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence joins Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a rally in Westfield, Ind., Tuesday, July 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Tony Samuel helped lead the Trump-Pence campaign to victory in Indiana.

As vice chairman of the Indiana campaign, Samuel helped guide the campaign’s efforts in the Hoosier State.  On Inauguration Day, he will be in Washington D.C. celebrating his candidate’s victory.

“Pride and excitement are the key feelings that I think everyone here is feeling — especially myself to be part of the campaign,” said Samuel.

Samuel told 24-Hour News 8 the state of Indiana played a key role in the 2016 election, starting with the May primary. After losing to Donald Trump in Indiana, Sen. Ted Cruz dropped out of the race.

“Back on May 3, our primary is what really ended the nomination process. We won all 57 delegates for Donald Trump,” said Samuel.

An Indianapolis Carrier plant became a major talking point for Donald Trump throughout the campaign. In several debates, Trump promised companies like Carrier would not be moving jobs to Mexico if he were elected.

Indiana was in the national spotlight once again when Gov. Mike Pence joined the ticket.

“We take a lot of pride in our next vice president. He’s done a tremendous job,” said Samuel.

On election night, Indiana did not disappoint the Trump-Pence team.

“We [Indiana] were the first state on the board on election night. That’s what we wanted to see with a huge, 20-point win. It’s been a lot for Indiana. We’ve risen to the occasion I think, and now we can celebrate,” said Samuel.

Samuel said watching the inauguration in person will finally make the victory feel real to him.

“The way that everything happened on election night, then moving on to the next phase of the transition — it’s still sinking in and I think it will finally sink in … being there,” said Samuel.

Samuel knows what to expect on Inauguration Day. He watched as George W. Bush took the oath for the first time in 2001. He said the atmosphere in Washington is special on any Inauguration Day.

“A lot of excitement. It’s a great feeling of that this nation in the greatest in the world and in the history of the world. You’re seeing us at our best with the transfer of power. A peaceful transfer of power from one president to the next, and in this case, one party to another,” said Samuel.

Samuel said more than 200 people from the state’s Republican Party will be in D.C. for the big day, and he expects thousands of Hoosiers to make the trip on their own.

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