By Tim Grimes
Simpson is the minority leader in the Indiana Senate. She has been a senator for 28 years. Simpson's first served in public office as Monroe County Auditor. She has a law degree from Indiana University's School of Law.
Simpson ran for governor briefly in 2004, but dropped out when Joe Kernan got back in the race.
Both she and Gregg, who served as speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives, touted their long friendship as a reason for joining forces.
The Gregg campaign stressed that this pick was about the need to work together and that both Gregg and Simpson have long histories of bipartisanship.
"My entire public life has been about working with Hoosiers of different stripes. Working across party lines, with Republicans, with Independents, with Democrats, to make Indiana into a great state in which to live, to raise our families, to get an education and to work," said Simpson in a speech outside the Statehouse Tuesday.
Even though Gregg and Simpson disagree on many social issues, including abortion and same-sex marriage, they said their differences are an advantage, not a problem. Indiana Democratic Party Chair Dan Parker said a difference of opinion is a good thing for the campaign.
"John Gregg does not want 'yes people' around him. He wants people to speak their mind. If anyone knows Vi Simpson, they know she speaks her mind," said Parker.
The Pence campaign didn't have much to say about the announcement.
"I would like to congratulate Sen. Simpson on being selected by Speaker Gregg as his running mate. She is worthy of being her party's nominee for lieutenant governor," said Christy Denault, Pence's campaign manager.
The Indiana Republican Party weighed in with a similar comment.
"We welcome Vi Simpson to the race and look forward to a spirited sprint to November," said Pete Seat, Communications Director for the Indiana Republican Party.
Tim Grimes is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news service powered by Franklin College journalism students and faculty.
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