FRATERNITY BROTHERS: Gov. Mike Pence is greeted by Alex Lantz, a Hanover College junior and fellow Phi Gamma Delta fraternity member, during Pence’s visit to his alma mater. Later Thursday the governor spoke at the Jefferson County Lincoln-Reagan Dinner. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
FRATERNITY BROTHERS: Gov. Mike Pence is greeted by Alex Lantz, a Hanover College junior and fellow Phi Gamma Delta fraternity member, during Pence’s visit to his alma mater. Later Thursday the governor spoke at the Jefferson County Lincoln-Reagan Dinner. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
Gov. Mike Pence made several stops in the Courierarea on Thursday before delivering the keynote address at the annual Jefferson County Republican Lincoln-Reagan Dinner.

Pence toured the Jefferson County Clearinghouse and House of Hope food pantry, and visited his alma mater, Hanover College, before arriving for the dinner at the Clifty Inn.

The governor used his time at the podium to highlight several Republican initiatives discussed in the General Assembly this year.

"I'm very excited, whether it be in the area of tax reform, whether it be in the area of infrastructure and roads, whether it be in the area of extending educational opportunities to more disadvantaged kids in our state. I am incredibly excited about what this session of the General Assembly is going to accomplish for Hoosier families," he said.

Pence said that politics in Washington D.C. is broken and that the work done at the state level is what propels the country.

"I believe the cure for what ails this country will come more from this nation's state capitals than it ever will from Washington D.C.," Pence said.

The governor also praised Indiana and the work his party has done on the state level.

"We've been balancing budgets, we've been living within our means, we've been providing educational innovations and opportunities and focusing on our kids," Pence said.

"We are the state that works."

Pence concluded his remarks by telling the packed room that the federal government has overstepped its authority and that power needs to be returned to the state level.

"Republicans must bring a new agenda to the nation's capital that says the time has come to permanently reduce the size and scope of the federal government, by restoring it to the states - that which is rightfully theirs under the 10th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States."

Sixth District Rep. Luke Messer also attended the dinner. He addressed the unrest in Ukraine, saying it was a "very, very big deal."

"This kind of aggression cannot stand," Messer said.

Three annual awards were also awarded. The Robert O. Zink Award was given posthumously to Dr. Roy Eaglin. Eaglin's daughters accepted the award.

Helen Lawrence Cope received the Polly Cooper Award, and Ed Taylor was honored with the Michael Garber Award.