Sue Ellspermann

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Sue Ellspermann
Lt Gov Sue Ellspermann.jpg
President of Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana
Assumed office
July 2, 2016
Preceded byThomas J. Snyder
50th Lieutenant Governor of Indiana
In office
January 14, 2013 – March 2, 2016
GovernorMike Pence
Preceded byBecky Skillman
Succeeded byEric Holcomb
Member of the Indiana House of Representatives
from the 74th district
In office
November 16, 2010 – November 7, 2012
Preceded byRussell Stilwell
Succeeded byLloyd Arnold
Personal details
Born (1960-04-29) April 29, 1960 (age 59)
Ferdinand, Indiana, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Jim Mehling
Alma materPurdue University (BS)
University of Louisville (PhD)

Sue Ellspermann (born April 29, 1960) is an American academic administrator and politician who served as the 50th lieutenant governor of Indiana. A member of the Republican Party, from 2010 to 2012 Ellspermann served in the Indiana House of Representatives from the 74th District, representing Warrick, Spencer, and parts of Dubois, and Perry County, Indiana,[1] she resigned as lieutenant governor on March 2, 2016, to become the president of Ivy Tech Community College, a position she has held since July 1, 2016.[2]

On May 21, 2012, Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence announced Ellspermann as his running mate in the 2012 election, they defeated Democratic nominees John Gregg and Vi Simpson in the general election.[3]

Early life and career[edit]

Ellspermann was born in Ferdinand, Indiana, one of six children of Tom and Betty Boeglin,[4] she graduated in 1978 from Forest Park High School in Ferdinand.[5] In 1982, Ellspermann graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science in industrial engineering, and in 1996 she received a PhD from University of Louisville.[6] Before entering state politics, Ellspermann founded the business consulting firm Ellspermann and Associates Inc. In 2006, she became the founding director of the University of Southern Indiana's Center for Applied Research.[7] In 2012, Ellspermann became the Director of Strategic Engagement for the strategic marketing firm Transformation Team, Inc.[6]

Indiana House of Representatives[edit]

In 2010, Ellspermann ran for the Indiana House of Representatives from the 74th District, she defeated 14-year incumbent and Democratic Majority Floor Leader Russ Stilwell.[8]

Ellspermann served one term in the Indiana House during the 2011–12 legislative session, she served on the committees for:[9]

  • Commerce, Small Business and Economic Development
  • Elections and Apportionment
  • Employment, Labor and Pensions (vice chair)

During the legislative session, Ellspermann was a co-sponsor of H.B. 1210, prohibiting state agencies from entering into a contract or making a grant to any entity that performs abortions or operates a facility where abortions are performed, with exceptions in cases of rape, incest, or for the life of the mother.[10] Many organizations criticized H.B. 1210 for repealing Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood of Indiana and for blocking funding for other health services that Planned Parenthood provides for those on Medicaid.[11] Ellspermann also cosponsored H.B. 1007, establishing a pilot program requiring drug testing for TANF applicants, and twice voted for a statewide ban on smoking in bars and restaurants.[12][13][14] Ellspermann was a co-sponsor of and leader in passing H.B. 1001, Indiana's right-to-work law, which prohibits employers from requiring employees to join a labor union.[15] During a debate with other lawmakers in Evansville, she said, "Right-to-work is a legitimate strategy to help attract and grow jobs. Indiana loses out on potential job creation because some companies won't consider moving here."[16] Ellspermann sponsored four bills during her tenure, two of which became law, including HEA 1312, expanding state regulatory authority of poultry sellers at farmers markets,[17] and HEA 1173, changing the circumstances under which employees can file a complaint against their employer through the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration.[18]

Lieutenant Governor of Indiana[edit]

2012 gubernatorial election[edit]

Likely running mates for U.S. Representative and Republican gubernatorial nominee Mike Pence in Indiana's 2012 gubernatorial election were rumored to include Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas, incumbent Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman, and Ellspermann.[19] On May 21, 2012, Pence announced that he had picked Ellspermann as his running mate;[20] the choice was hailed among officials and members of the Indiana Republican Party and criticized by Democratic nominee John Gregg, who called the Pence-Ellsperman ticket "the Tea Party ticket."[21] Pence and Ellspermann were officially nominated at the Indiana Republican convention on June 10, 2012,[22] and on November 6 won the general election with 49.6% of the vote.[23]


Ellspermann was sworn in as the 50th Lieutenant Governor of Indiana on January 14, 2013, succeeding two-term incumbent Becky Skillman;[24] as lieutenant governor, Ellspermann headed the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, the Office of Energy Development, the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, the Office of Community and Rural Affairs and the Office of Tourism Development.[25]

Ellspermann resigned before the completion of her term on March 2, 2016.[26] Pence appointed Eric J. Holcomb to serve out the remainder of her term.[26]

Personal life[edit]

Ellspermann is a resident of Ferdinand, Indiana, with her husband Jim Mehling, the former principal of Forest Park High School,[27] they have four adult daughters.[28]

Ellspermann is a Roman Catholic and a member of St. Ferdinand Parish, where she and her husband are on the Strategic Planning Committee,[29] she was previously a 20-year member of Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Evansville, where she served on the Parish Council and the Stewardship Commission, and was a eucharistic minister and lector.[28]

Electoral history[edit]


Indiana House of Representatives, 74th District, 2010 [30]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Sue Ellspermann 11,242 52.04% +15.44%
Democratic Russ Stilwell (incumbent) 10,362 47.96% -11.44%
Turnout 21,604
Republican gain from Democratic Swing


2012 Indiana gubernatorial election [31]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Mike Pence / Sue Ellspermann 1,264,877 49.62% -8.22%
Democratic John Gregg / Vi Simpson 1,183,213 46.42% +6.38%
Libertarian Rupert Boneham / Brad Klopfenstein 101,028 3.96% +1.84%
No party Donnie Harold Harris / George Fish (write-in) 34 0%
Margin of victory 81,664 3.20% -14.61%
Turnout 2,549,152 57.81% -2.08%
Republican hold Swing

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Pence makes it official: Ferdinand's Sue Ellspermann will be his running mate". Retrieved May 21, 2012.
  2. ^ "Dr. Sue Ellspermann". Retrieved 2016-07-16.
  3. ^ "Indiana election 2012: Republican Mike Pence wins Indiana governor race over Democrat John Gregg". Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  4. ^ "Pence's pick for No. 2 is pitch perfect". Retrieved May 24, 2012.
  5. ^ "2012 State Candidates".
  6. ^ a b "Representative Sue Ellspermann" (PDF).
  8. ^ "Bosma ready to take the reins". Retrieved November 4, 2010.
  9. ^ (May 21, 2012). "Ellspermann Brings Business Background to GOP Ticket".
  10. ^ "HOUSE BILL No. 1210". Retrieved February 17, 2011.
  11. ^ "Judge refuses to delay law cutting state funding from Planned Parenthood". Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  15. ^ "HOUSE ENROLLED ACT No. 1001".
  16. ^ "Right-to-work debate brings standing-room-only crowd to UE". Retrieved November 29, 2011.
  17. ^ Sue Ellspermann. "Second Regular Session 117th General Assembly (2012) HOUSE ENROLLED ACT No. 1312". Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  18. ^ Sue Ellspermann. "Second Regular Session 117th General Assembly (2012) HOUSE ENROLLED ACT No. 1173". Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  19. ^ Brandon Smith (May 21, 2012). "Pundits Suggest Possible Lieutenant Gov. Choices For Pence". Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  20. ^ "REPUBLICAN GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE MIKE PENCE CHOOSES RUNNING MATE Pence introduced Sue Ellspermann, a Republican from District 74, as his running mate at her hometown of Ferdinand, Ind". May 21, 2012. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  21. ^ Associated Press (May 21, 2012). "Pence Picks Ellspermann As Running Mate State Rep. Ellspermann Lives In Southern Indiana".
  22. ^ Brandon Smith (June 11, 2012). "Mike Pence To GOP Convention: Job Growth Top Priority". Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  23. ^ Office of the Secretary of State of Indiana (November 28, 2012). "Election Results Indiana General Election, November 6, 2012". Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  24. ^ "UPDATE: Mike Pence sworn in as Indiana's 50th governor". January 14, 2013. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
  25. ^ "Jop of Lieutenant Governor of Indiana".
  26. ^ a b Slodysko, Brian. "Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann to resign March 2 in expected move". Associated Press. Indianapolis Star. February 18, 2016.
  27. ^ "Mehling to retire from Forest Park". Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  28. ^ a b "Biographical Profile for Sue Ellspermann".
  29. ^ "Catholic lawmakers serving in the General Assembly" (PDF). January 9, 2011.
  30. ^ "2010 Indiana Election Report" (PDF).
  31. ^ "Election Results". November 28, 2012. Retrieved December 17, 2012.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Becky Skillman
Lieutenant Governor of Indiana
Succeeded by
Eric Holcomb