Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann was the featured speaker during Wednesday night’s Kosciusko Republican Lincoln Day Dinner.
The dinner was attended by 125 Republicans at Champagne Jam in Warsaw.
As lieutenant governor, Ellspermann heads the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, the Office of Energy Development, the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, the Office of Community and Rural Affairs and the Office of Tourism Development.
State Rep. Dist. 22 Curt Nisly introduced Ellspermann.
Ellspermann said Kosciusko County is blessed to have the kind of representation it does in the General Assembly. She congratulated Warsaw for having the top 20 best cities in America award.
“You have a great community here doing great things with people who have a great work ethic and have started their own companies,” Ellspermann said. “It has been an absolute honor to serve with Governor Pence. He has been a man of integrity, humility and worked and put Indiana first everyday.”
Ellspermann said the state is fiscally sound with a balanced budget of $2 billion in reserve, and added almost half a billion dollars to K-12 education.
She said the General Assembly also added $200 million to the Major Moves fund.
Ellspermann said although the state has balanced its budget, there is nothing in the Constitution that requires states to have a balanced budget.
The General Assembly this year started the process to develop a balanced budget amendment.
“Indiana’s economy is strong and we’ve seen unemployment drop over two percent and 100,000 jobs created in the private sector,” Ellspermann said.
She said the Republican party needs to elect GOP leaders at the gubernatorial, congressional and state levels.
Randy Girod, Kosciusko County GOP chair, thanked Ellspermann for her speech.
“It’s a privilege to have a lady of this caliber as our lieutenant governor,” Girod said.
Jean Northenor introduced Senate candidate Eric Holcomb. Dan Coats is not seeing re-election to the seat.
Holcomb said he plans to focus on national security, economic security and returning to the days where the rules of law are respected.
Mike Delph said he is considering running for the Senate seat.
Marlin Stutzman, Senate candidate, gave a video address to attendees.
Candidates running and considering running for the 3rd District congressional seat being vacated by Marlin Stutzman also spoke.
Warsaw resident Dr. Pam Galloway said she is seeking the congressional seat.
“I intend to do things I learned in medical school such as problem solving and listening and use that to serve the people in the third congressional district,” Galloway said.
Jim Banks also is seeking the congressional seat. He said it was hard for him to imagine when he left to serve in Afghanistan nine months ago that he would come home three weeks ago from yesterday and become a candidate for Congress.
“My lesson learned in Afghanistan is we have an extraordinary military. I served alongside the most extraordinary men and women you will ever meet and yet we have an administration in Washington, D.C., that has done more to decimate the greatness of our military than any other administration in modern history,” Banks said.
Warsaw resident Michael Stinfer and Leesburg resident Kip Tom said they are considering running for the third district congressional seats and will make a decision in the next few weeks.
(Story By The Times Union)