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Pence could announce new running mate, lieutenant governor

February 9, 2016

Gov. Mike Pence has scheduled a 1 p.m. news conference in which he is expected to announce that former state GOP chairman Eric Holcomb will be his running mate for the November election—and perhaps take over as lieutenant governor even earlier.

The announcement was cryptic, saying only that Pence will “make an announcement regarding his administration.”

But citing an anonymous source, The Indianapolis Star reported late Monday that Pence planned to replace current Lt. Gov.  Sue Ellspermann with Holcomb on his ticket. Pence said in December that he had encouraged Ellspermann to seek the presidency of Ivy Tech Community College, although no announcement about that post has been made.

The advisory about Tuesday’s news conference came from the governor’s office—not Pence’s campaign—meaning it’s unlikely to be just an election announcement. That could mean Ellspermann is stepping down sooner and the governor could appoint Pence as his lieutenant governor, although no one from the governor’s campaign or his office is talking.

Holcomb unexpectedly dropped out of the U.S. Senate race on Monday—less than three weeks after he’d filed to run, even though his fundraising had fallen way behind his GOP opponents.

He said in a statement Monday that he and his wife "believe we have been called to serve our beloved state in a different capacity." He did not elaborate, except to say that he looked “forward to announcing soon how I will serve our state in the years to come."

Holcomb is a former aide to retiring U.S. Sen. Dan Coats and former Gov. Mitch Daniels. 

Read more stories about the 2016 election at our Ballot Box page.

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