Indiana's GOP and Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates Both Have Female Running Mates

May 22, 2012

With the addition of two women to gubernatorial tickets, it’s almost guaranteed that the next duo to run Indiana will be a man and a woman — for the third consecutive time. Republican candidate Mike Pence toured the state Monday with his choice for lieutenant governor: state Rep. Sue Ellspermann. The pair said they will focus on economic development if elected in November and said her candidacy is not about attracting female voters, but about choosing the best candidate.

“I am a woman, of course, but I think I have the qualifications very much on my own,” Ellspermann said Monday during a stop in Indianapolis.

Democratic candidate John Gregg, meanwhile, is set to announce that longtime Senate Minority Leader Vi Simpson will join his ticket. Libertarian candidate Rupert Boneham is running with Brad Klopfenstein.

Ellspermann’s nomination will have to be confirmed at the state Republican convention on June 9 in Indianapolis. The state Democratic convention is a week later in Fort Wayne, where the party will have to confirm Simpson’s nomination. Gov. Mitch Daniels can’t seek re-election this year because of term limits.

The announcements virtually guarantee that Indiana will continue its string of white, male governors who have a white woman as second in command. Gov. Mitch Daniels has run Indiana since 2005 with Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman, and former Gov. Joe Kernan chose Indiana’s first female lieutenant governor, Kathy Davis, in 2003.