Holcomb to become lieutenant governor

Indiana Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann is resigning, with former Mitch Daniels chief of staff Eric Holcomb nominated to replace her and to serve as Gov. Mike Pence’s running mate this fall.

Our news-gathering partners at Network Indiana are reporting that¬†Ellspermann has been eying the open presidency of Ivy Tech since last fall, and Gov. Pence has enthusiastically touted her qualifications for the post. But Ivy Tech’s board may not choose the school’s new president until June.

Ellspermann says she wishes the timing had lined up better, but says Pence needs a smooth transition. And House Speaker Brian Bosma had said he’d prefer to see Ellspermann’s status resolved before the legislature’s adjournment March 14, to avoid the need for a special session to confirm a replacement.

Ellspermann will set a date for her resignation after legislative leaders schedule Holcomb’s confirmation vote.

Ellspermann and Pence dismiss speculation that her departure is a result of policy disagreements.

Ellspermann wouldn’t say directly whether she’d have wanted to stay if the Ivy Tech job hadn’t opened. She says she and Pence agreed Ivy Tech is “an even better seat on the bus” to serve the state.

Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) says he wishes Holcomb the best, but says legislators need to “thoroughly vet” his selection. He calls Ellspermann’s resignation “a blow to diversity.”