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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Ellspermann stops in Greencastle on road to Election Day

Friday, November 2, 2012

Shortly after her arrival in Greencastle, lieutenant governor candidate Sue Ellspermann visits with Putnam County Republican Party chairman Darwyn Nelson in front of the party headquarters Thursday afternoon. The candidate spent about an hour in Greencastle speaking individually to voters and sharing she and gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence's "Roadmap for Indiana."
(Banner Graphic/JARED JERNAGAN) [Order this photo]
If elected, Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence and running mate Sue Ellspermann have a vision for the state they call the "Roadmap for Indiana."

As the duo jumps around the state making every stop they can with the election only days away, what they need right now is a roadmap of Indiana.

Ellspermann made one such stop in Greencastle on Thursday, having worked her way south from stops in towns like Fowler, Pine Village and Cayuga earlier in the day.

Not straying too far from the campaign clichés of handshakes and babies, Republican lieutenant governor candidate Sue Ellspermann made her rounds at the Putnam County Republican headquarters on Thursday afternoon. A grandmother herself, the candidate relished a couple of minutes holding 10-month-old Landen Newlin.(Banner Graphic/JARED JERNAGAN)
Having served just one term in District 74 in Southwest Indiana, the state representative from Ferdinand in southern Dubois County is covering a lot of ground she would not have expected before Pence chose her as a running mate this spring.

"The most positive part of this experience is learning about the other 88 counties in this state from the four I represented," Ellspermann told the Banner Graphic.

She spoke of learning the individual nuances of local cultures but said one thing unites Indiana.

"Hoosiers are great across the state," she said.

During her stop at the Putnam County Republican headquarters on South Jackson Street, Ellspermann spoke individually to local candidates, party volunteers and voters before sharing a few words with the entire crowd of 20 or so onlookers.

"We really are in the last days of the campaign. It's such an exciting time," Ellspermann said.

The founding director of the Center for Applied Research at the University of Southern Indiana, Ellspermann did not get an early start on politics in her life. She holds a Ph.D. in industrial engineering and spent 20 years operating her own consulting firm.

But when Ellspermann returned to her hometown a few years ago, she found it was not the prosperous little town she remembered.

"Like many Americans, I wasn't involved since student council in high school," she said.

To get involved, Ellspermann enrolled in the Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series, a program aimed at getting more Republican women involved in public service.

After completion of the Lugar Series, she ran for her current position and won.

Not much more than a year into her term, she got a call from the Pence campaign asking her if she would be interested in being the U.S. Congressman's running mate in his bid for governor.

"Who'd be calling a two-year legislator and asking them to run for lieutenant governor?" Ellspermann asked.

But she accepted the invitation and was eventually chosen.

"Every interaction I've had with the Pence team and with Mike himself has been wonderful," she said.

Now onboard with Pence, a big focus for Ellspermann remains one of the problems she found when she returned to Ferdinand -- the brain drain.

Ellspermann spoke of plans to improve higher education and keep our educated students upon graduation.

"They have to have opportunities and our communities have to be attractive to them," she said.

The candidate pointed to making college more affordable, getting students to graduate in four years and in realizing that four-year college isn't for everyone, as key parts to the campaign's plans for education.

Besides education, Ellspermann also praised Gov. Mitch Daniels' fiscal policies for the last eight years, saying they have made Indiana a "job magnet."

Calling Daniels and Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman "a tough act to follow," Ellspermann requested the support of the voters and reminded them the tough part of the Roadmap for Indiana starts in a couple of months, should the voters choose Pence for governor.

"Come January, it's time to implement it."