2016-03-08 / Front Page

Eric Holcomb Is Sworn In As 51st Lieutenant Governor Of Indiana In March 3 Ceremony At Statehouse

Staff Report


Eric Holcomb (left) was sworn in as the 51st Lieutenant Governor by Indiana Supreme Court Justice Mark Massa on Thursday, March 3 at the Statehouse. (Courtesy Photo) Eric Holcomb (left) was sworn in as the 51st Lieutenant Governor by Indiana Supreme Court Justice Mark Massa on Thursday, March 3 at the Statehouse. (Courtesy Photo) Eric Holcomb was sworn in Thursday afternoon, March 3 as the 51st Lieutenant Governor of Indiana in a ceremony held in the south atrium of the Indiana Statehouse. Holcomb was sworn in by Indiana Supreme Court Justice Mark Massa, and both Holcomb and Governor Mike Pence (R) offered remarks. Lieutenant Governor Holcomb took his oath on President Benjamin Harrison’s personal Bible that he used to be sworn in as president.

“Eric Holcomb is a Hoosier through and through, and I’m proud that he has officially taken his oath to join the administration as Lieutenant Governor,” said Pence. “Eric has a heart for public service and a love for Indiana like few people I’ve ever met, and I’m grateful for Eric and his wife Janet’s willingness to serve this state. I know that Eric’s enthusiasm, integrity, and extensive experience at both the state and federal level will serve him well as he assumes the duties of the Office of the Lieutenant Governor. I’m looking forward to working with Eric in the coming months, and I know that he’s ready to get to work for the people of Indiana.”


Eric Holcomb was sworn in Thursday afternoon as the 51st Lieutenant Governor of Indiana in a ceremony held in the south atrium of the Indiana Statehouse. (Courtesy Photo) Eric Holcomb was sworn in Thursday afternoon as the 51st Lieutenant Governor of Indiana in a ceremony held in the south atrium of the Indiana Statehouse. (Courtesy Photo) On February 9, Governor Pence announced his intention to nominate Holcomb as Lieutenant Governor. He formally nominated Holcomb on March 2, and on March 3, Holcomb was confirmed by majority vote in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

“I could not be more excited or more proud to serve as Lieutenant Governor of the state of Indiana,” Holcomb said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to work alongside Governor Pence to build on Indiana’s strong foundation and make tomorrow stronger. I’m eager to get started, and I look forward to hitting the ground running to serve the Hoosiers of this great state.”

Eric Holcomb has spent his career in public service. Most recently, he has served as State Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator Dan Coats. Prior to that role from 2003 to 2011, Holcomb served as Governor Mitch Daniels’ deputy chief of staff and managed the Governor’s 2008 re-election campaign. Holcomb has also served as chairman of the Indiana Republican Party and as a member of the Republican National Committee. Holcomb got his start in politics managing successful races for U.S. Congressman John Hostettler and a mayoral race in Vincennes, where he lived at the time. Holcomb earned his undergraduate degree from Hanover College and is a veteran of the United States Navy. Eric and his wife, Janet, live in Traders Point, Indiana.

Under Indiana law, the lieutenant governor serves as President of the Indiana Senate and Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. The lieutenant governor also manages six state agencies including the State Department of Agriculture, Office of Community and Rural Affairs, Office of Tourism Development, Office of Defense Development, Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. Additionally, the lieutenant governor chairs the Indiana Counter Terrorism and Security Council.

Wednesday was former Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann’s final day in office.

Ellspermann, who is seeking to become the next president of Ivy Tech Community College, stepped down as the state’s second in-command. She was honored Wednesday by both Democratic and Republican lawmakers in the state Senate as she left the podium one last time as lieutenant governor.

“Every Hoosier should be grateful for the service and example of Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann,” Pence said. “Her distinguished service and unmatched enthusiasm for our state set a standard for public service that has inspired people across Indiana. I have no doubt that her service to Indiana will extend far beyond that of her tenure in our administration, but I will miss the opportunity to work with this dynamic and remarkable leader.

“Sue’s legacy includes her successes in growing Indiana’s agriculture industry, reducing blight, enhancing rural broadband, strengthening rural communities, promoting tourism, and expanding investments in career and technical education as the needs of Hoosier workers evolve.”

Ellspermann’s decision to step down as lieutenant governor allowed Holcomb, a former state Republican Party chairman, to join the ticket with the governor for what is expected to be a tough re-election campaign against Democratic challenger John Gregg.

The result is that for the first time in more than a decade a woman will not be part of the GOP ticket for governor, going against a practice of both parties.

The last time a new lieutenant governor was selected in the middle of a term was 2003 after Governor Frank O’Bannon died in office.

Note: The Republican ticket of Pence/Ellspermann defeated Gregg and Democratic running mate Vi Simpson in the November 6, 2012 general election by a closer-than-expected margin of 1,275,424 votes to 1,200,016, or 49.5 percent to 46.6 percent.

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