Indiana Lt. Governor and Secretary of Agriculture Sue Ellspermann is in her final hours on the job as she turns her attention to the possible top spot at Ivy Tech Community College. The lieutenant governor vacancy will officially exist as of 5 PM Wednesday. Governor Mike Pence told HAT this week that the people of the state, and particularly those in agriculture, owe Ellspermann a debt of gratitude for her service.
“The dedication that she has shown over the last 3 years to advancing the interests of our state, carrying herself with such dignity, but really becoming a passionate, passionate advocate for the interests of agriculture in the state of Indiana cannot be overstated.”
Ellspermann submitted her resignation this week with what she called a conflicted heart. Pence said he too has mixed emotions.
“She’s not only a great partner but she’s a great friend,” he said. “But I really do believe the opportunity to serve Indiana in higher education leading our largest post-secondary institution is a profound one. I think she’ll be able to help guide the development of a great, well educated, well skilled workforce in the future. But I think every Hoosier should be grateful for the service and the example of Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann.”
Her successor will be Eric Holcomb and the governor feels he will serve agriculture well, based in part on his experience with ag friendly administrations starting in the Mitch Daniels years.
“He is not only a Navy veteran, but he is someone who has worked with our delegation in Washington,” Pence said. “He has served a member of congress and currently just finished up a tour of duty serving a member of the U.S. Senate, but also he worked with two administrations. He was deputy chief of staff for Governor Daniels during years where we saw a great increase in the diversity and the strength of agriculture in the state, and he has worked closely with our administration as we move forward and build on that momentum.”
Pence is confident that Holcomb will use that vast experience in state and federal issues to champion Indiana agriculture. His confirmation by the Indiana House and Senate chambers is expected Thursday morning, with a swearing-in ceremony to follow.