Pence looking for new running mate

(WISH photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Sue Ellspermann is seeking to leave her post as Lieutenant Governor. She wants to become the next president of Ivy Tech Community College.

It’s a startling development that raises questions about the re-election bid of Governor Mike Pence.

That’s because, while we don’t know if Sue Ellspermann will become the president of Ivy Tech, we do know that Mike Pence has already begun the search for Sue Ellspermann’s replacement.

Ellspermann wants to replace the retiring Tom Snyder as Ivy Tech president with the governor’s approval.

“The governor strongly encouraged the Lt. Governor to apply for the position at Ivy Tech,” said Pence spokesman Matt Lloyd.

Ellspermann issued a statement saying she’s honored to be considered.

Meantime, Democrats, who point out that a lieutenant governor has never before ducked re-election in this state, pounced on the news.

“Whether Lieutenant Governor Ellspermann wanted to go or was told to leave,” said Marion County Democratic Chairman Joel Miller, “one way or the other, that’s obvious that there’s a problem within the administration.”

At an appearance in Elkhart the governor tried to downplay it.

“She’s been an extraordinary leaders on workforce issues in her capacity as Lt. Governor,” he said. “In many ways I feel she’s the ideal candidate.”

There are reports that Ellspermann has differences with the governor’s position on RFRA. The Pence administration worked to squelch them.

“They have a great working relationship,” said Lloyd. “Any differences that they have, have been talked about behind closed doors but the Lieutenant Governor has been very faithful to support of the governor.”

The timing of all this is one reason why observers are suspicious. The Ivy Tech search committee was just named Monday.

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