Ellspermann focused on keeping Crane jobs, boosting economy

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Indiana's new Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann has just started her job. But the woman considered a political outsider is already focused on a critical issue facing the state: the battle to keep an important military center open.

Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann lives a hectic life. The married mother of a blended family of four girls wanted a career in academia, so she pursued an engineering degree at Purdue and her doctorate. Then she drifted into business.

Sitting in her sparsely decorated office Monday afternoon, she revealed, "The part that was never on my list was the political one - until I felt compelled to get involved."

One term in the House and then-candidate Mike Pence picked her as his running mate. Now she presides over the Senate and the Department of Agriculture, Tourism and the Office of Defense Development, to name a few.

She elaborated on Crane's importance to Indiana.

"Crane alone has a patent portfolio much like a research one university like IU and Purdue. We have lots of opportunities those patents which by the way the federal government wants us to do," said Ellspermann.

Currently she says Crane alone pumps $2 to 3 billion a year into the state's economy. Pursuing those patents, she believes, will help ensure its existence in a base realignment that most surely will come in the future. The bottom line for this administration is job preservation and job creation.

"The viabilities of our families really depend on the opportunity to have a job that can support our families. So I think it weighs heavily on both the governor and I that our number one responsibility is making sure Indiana is a place where jobs are being created," she said.

Getting the job is certainly an honor she says but what you do with that job is the real measuring stick for success or failure.

"Having been a female engineer, a female business owner, you just always knew you had to perform," she said.

That is the one constant in a life of constant change.