"Sue Ellspermann has the integrity, business background and experience in state government that will make her a great lieutenant governor," said Pence in a press release that immediately followed the announcement in Ferdinand.
Pence, who is leaving his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives to run for governor, said that Ellspermann would help bring jobs to Indiana.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Gregg wasn't slow in responding. Just a few minutes after Pence made the official announcement, the Gregg campaign sent a press release attacking the Pence-Ellspermann ticket as a team of radicals with "an extreme social agenda."
"Congressman Pence and his pick for lieutenant governor, state Rep. Sue Ellspermann, represent the tea party ticket," said Gregg Campaign Manager Rebecca Pearcey in the press release.
Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, said he is pleased with Ellspermann's record.
"During her tenure in the state legislature, she has shown a strong acumen for economic development and fiscal matters, as well as the ability to take a number of courageous votes during the most challenging of circumstances," Long said.
Ellspermann said that her main priority is jobs.
"Mike Pence's top priority is job creation," said Ellspermann. "As an engineer, I understand the importance of technical skills development in our workforce to attract high wage, high tech jobs to Indiana."
Ellspermann is an industrial engineer by trade. She also is the founding director of the Center for Applied Research at the University of Southern Indiana. And she ran her own consulting firm, Sue Ellspermann & Associates Inc., for 20 years.
In 2011, Ellspermann co-authored two anti-abortion bills. One prevents those on Medicaid from using it to pay for visits to Planned Parenthood because some Planned Parenthood clinics offer abortions, as well as women's health services. The other requires that the Indiana Department of Child Services be notified if an abortion is performed on a girl younger than 14. It also requires that the age of the father and the date the procedure was performed be disclosed. Both of these became laws.
Democrats said that the Pence-Ellspermann ticket won't focus on the right things.
"Instead of fighting for jobs and opportunity for Indiana, they have both spent their political careers fighting for an extreme social agenda which would have denied thousands of Hoosiers access to critical health care services," said Pearcey, the Gregg campaign manager.
Members of his own party liked Pence's selection.
"Today, Mike Pence proved why he has the judgment to be our next governor by selecting Sue Ellspermann as his running mate. Her integrity and work ethnic serve as examples of what public service is all about," said Indiana Republican Party State Chairman Eric Holcomb.
Gregg said that he would announce his running mate Tuesday afternoon.
Tim Grimes is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news service powered by Franklin College journalism students and faculty.
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