Speculation on Rep. Sue Ellspermann and GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Mike Pence came to end today as Pence officially announced her as the Lieutenant Governor nomination in her hometown of Ferdinand.
A large crowd waited outside the new Tri-County YMCA for Pence and Ellspermann to arrive. Patriotic music played over loudspeakers and tripod mounted cameras were at the ready as the entourage pulled up in a red pickup truck. Piled inside were both candidates’ immediate families; an exuberant Ellspermann was hugs and smiles as the crowd clapped and roared in approval.
Pence stated Ellspermann was mentioned early in the campaign as a candidate for the nomination after considering dozens of candidates for the office at the turn of the year. “We just went through a careful process and every time we got to a decision point,” Pence said, “Sue emerged as a leading candidate. At the end of the day it was clear to me and my family that Sue Ellspermann was the right person at the right time for Indiana.”
“I didn’t pick Sue to win the city of Ferdinand,” Pence joked before yielding the podium to Ellspermann.
Ellspermann was accompanied by her husband Jim Mehling, Assistant Principal at Forest Park High School, and her daughters, Lauren and Kara Ellspermann. She thanked her family and the many supporters gathered at the YMCA. She reiterated that the theme of jobs and economic development Pence has built his platform on is the same theme she has had since deciding to run for representative of District 74. She said it was an honor to accept the nomination from Pence due to his integrity, clear vision and love for Indiana.
“I see this as an opportunity to have a stronger voice for Southern Indiana and rural Indiana,” Ellspermann said. “As you know the Lieutenant Governor is the Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, so I couldn’t be happier with the opportunity.”
On the development of I-67, Ellspermann stated she will be able to take on a larger role in its continued advance as she now represents more of the counties being affected by the potential highway.
Ellspermann was elected as a representative in 2010 and has been instrumental in several economic and rural development bills since taking office. These include HEA 1251, the Young Entrepreneur bill, which establishes a mechanism linking graduating entrepreneurship majors and minors to communities interested in becoming home to their start-up businesses.
She fielded much of the recent Right to Work contention from the union heavy southwestern Indiana District 74 she represents. At one point approximately 40 union members picketed her residence in Ferdinand after the passage of the Right to Work Bill.
Ellspermann will now accompany Pence as he travels the “four corners” of the state continuing his campaign and introducing his team. “We wanted to start here in Ferdinand, it was very important to Sue and her family,” Pence explained. “We will head out to Evansville from here and then on to Indianapolis. I think it is extremely important when you are applying for the job of governor and lieutenant governor that you give Hoosiers a chance to get to know you, your family, your values, and your vision. So we are going to spend a fair amount of time trying to make sure Hoosiers know not only who the Pences are but who Sue Ellspermann and her family are and what we can bring to this state.”