By Bart Doan
Neither inclement weather nor a train delay stopped potential Indiana lieutenant governor and current State Representative Sue Ellspermann from speaking to a small group of supporters and taking questions here at the Republican Victory Center.
Ellspermann was introduced back in May by gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence as his running mate. She joked about a delay at a railroad crossing, making the trek to Hendricks County a little more difficult, but dove into the issues the Hoosiers in attendance wanted to learn more about.
“I really thought when I ran for the state representative position two years ago, that I’d seen a lot of problems,” Ellspermann said. “Come to find out, we have a few more problems at the state house. Those are opportunities that we as Hoosiers want to take on. We want to make Indiana a better place.”
Ellspermann championed the controversial Right to Work law that Gov. Mitch Daniels signed into law earlier this year, saying that it is paying immediate dividends.
“One of the most important things we could have done last year is Right to Work,” she said. “As of two weeks ago, 83 companies had approached Indiana and said that Right to Work is one of the reasons. If you want to know what those 83 companies mean, almost $2 billion in investments, over 8,000 jobs, and one of the most important facts is that of the jobs that have been committed, they are ranging over $4 and $5 an hour more than the mean wage in Indiana today. When we said Right to Work would be good for Hoosiers, it will be. Those are over $20 an hour jobs. We want to keep that going.”
She piggybacked off of Pence’s Road Map for Indiana campaign, highlighting education and job creation as the chief issues facing the state and also weighed in on the importance of the impending Senate election.
“Richard Mourdock is a great servant leader, and Indiana needs Richard Mourdock in the United States Senate,” Ellspermann said.
She said she’s looking forward to the future and to taking on new challenges.
“We’ve had a busy two years in the state house,” she said. “I’m from farm country and we call that making hay. We’ve made a lot of hay. We need to be making sure we have an agricultural industry for the future. That 25 billion is extremely important to Indiana. I’ve watched how main streets have become leaner on businesses and our young people have been lost to larger urban and suburban areas. So my personal passion is to dig in and make sure we have a rural Indiana that’s as successful as our urban areas.”
Ellspermann said learning the needs of Indiana’s 92 counties is my biggest upcoming challenge. Her priority, she said would be “understanding northern Indiana as well as I understand southern Indiana, like the back of my hand, and really get that level of comfort with every county so you know we are doing and creating and supporting the needs and programs of the entire state.”
She said Indiana is headed in the right direction but added that there’s more to be done.
“It’s important that we remain fresh, committed to finishing the job,” she said. “We’re not representing just Republicans, we’re representing the entire state and want to make decisions that are in the best interest of all Hoosiers so we need to be talking with everyone.”
Ellspermann resides in Ferdinand with her husband, Jim Mehling. They have a blended family of four daughters.