UPDATED Feb. 9 at 4:15 p.m.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Former Indiana Republican Party Chair Eric Holcomb will soon have the number two job in Indiana state government.
Gov. Mike Pence announced Tuesday that he nominated Holcomb to take Sue Ellspermann’s seat as the state’s lieutenant governor. Ellspermann indicated her interest in the open president position at Ivy Tech last December.
The Ivy Tech Board of Trustees’ search process is still ongoing, but Ellspermann says resigning before she knows whether the Ivy Tech job is hers is about ensuring an orderly transition.
“We’d like to get Eric familiar with the General Assembly; we think that’s important to moving forward,” she said.
Ellspermann says she will resign at the appropriate time.
Pence says Holcomb’s background makes him a perfect fit.
“Eric Holcomb is ready, day one, to assume the duties of lieutenant governor of the state of the Indiana," Pence said. "He knows the executive branch; he knows the legislative branch.”
Holcomb served as an advisor to former Gov. Mitch Daniels and state chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Dan Coats. He says he looks forward to stepping into public office for the first time.
“I could not be more excited and more proud to serve this man at this time," Holcomb said. "The state of Indiana becomes stronger by the day.”
The state House and Senate must confirm Holcomb before he officially assumes the role. Pence says there’s no timeline for the official transition, but notes it will be “weeks, not days.”
The State Democratic Party slammed Pence’s choice, calling it a “back room deal” that only serves to drive a partisan wedge.