The Indiana number 2’s have been selected. Tuesday Democrat candidate for Governor John Gregg announced State Senator Vi Simpson (l) is his running mate. One day earlier Republican candidate Mike Pence chose State Representative Sue Ellspermann. (r)
The next Lt. Governor will succeed Becky Skillman as the state’s Secretary of Agriculture. Indiana Farm Bureau President Don Villwock told HAT Tuesday that both candidates have a great understanding of agriculture.
“Indiana Farm Bureau has worked with both of these candidates during the tenure in the legislature and so we have a basic understanding with them where they stand, and we’re looking forward to hearing more of what their vision is for agriculture and how much importance it will play in their administrations.”
At this point Villwock doesn’t see a downside to either candidate related to agriculture.
“Vi Simpson has been in the senate for a long time and has been a leader there. Sue is relatively new but we had a few issues that we worked with her very closely on in the last legislative session. She was in the Farm Bureau office and we had a great discussion and she’s a great listener, so I’m encouraged by both and we’ll see where this all goes.”
Sometimes Farm Bureau endorses a ticket, but Villwock said most of the time they don’t. That would only come about if there is a groundswell of support for an endorsement at the county level.
“It takes two-thirds of our county presidents to ask for a meeting that we would have a discussion, and then it takes two-thirds of those who attend that meeting to endorse. So it’s kind of rare that we do that. We have attempted that in the past so we’ll just see how this all develops.”
Villwock said any sort of movement toward an endorsement wouldn’t materialize until around the Indiana State Fair and IFB delegate session in August.
Regardless of who the next Indiana agriculture leader is the past eight years is a hard act to follow.
“Mitch Daniels and Becky Skillman have been really the true leaders in the country actually promoting agriculture. I’ve been with both of them at non-ag events where they always talk about agriculture being our largest industry in the state, how important it is to our economy, and we’ve been very blessed for these past eight years. Hopefully we’ll get that out of our next administration.”
Ellspermann is from Ferdinand in Dubois County, and Simpson of Monroe County lives in Ellettsville.[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/05/Don-Villwock-on-LG-candidates.mp3|titles=Don Villwock on LG candidates]