Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Three Consecutive Female Lt. Governors: Time for One in Big Chair?

Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann
When Sue Ellspermann became Lieutenant Governor yesterday, it extended a streak.  One that we have now come to see as commonplace.  Ellspermann is the third-straight female to be Indiana's Lieutenant Governor.

It began in 2003 when then-Governor Joe Kernan nominated the highly-qualified Kathy Davis to take his old job after Kernan succeeded his late boss, Governor Frank O'Bannon.  Governor Daniels added Senator Becky Skillman to his ticket in 2004, and they were swept to victory over Kernan/Davis.  They won reelection in 2008 over Jill Long Thompson and Dennie Oxley.  That brings us to 2012 where both the Republicans and Democrats nominated a female for the Lieutenant Governor slot.  In a close election, The Mike Pence/Ellspermann prevailed over John Gregg and Vi Simpson.  With Indiana so willing to elect female Lieutenant Governors, it begs the question about when we might see a female Governor in Indiana.

We may find out sooner than later.  If Pence decides to run for President, there's always the chance he might resign to concentrate on running for that office.  That would make Ellspermann Indiana's first female Governor.  That is not likely, though.  I don't see Pence stepping aside especially since Indiana has a legislature that is done by early to mid-spring.

At just 62 now, Skillman likely isn't done in politics.  In four years, if Pence moves on, I could see her giving the office a whirl.  Ellspermann would likely be a candidate at that time, too.  I think the bench is much longer on the Democratic side.  Davis, Simpson, Rep. Linda Lawson, Rep. Terri Austin, and many others that I'm forgetting would make excellent Governors.

It's just an interesting thing to think about.  It isn't only the Governor's Office that perhaps lacking in female power, but the U.S. Senate seats from Indiana have been male-dominated. As my friend and fellow blogger, Matt Stone, pointed out on Twitter when I tweeted this out on my account,

The road to 2016 will tell us much, I think.

P.S.-If I forgot anyone, please feel free to let me know in the comments what female candidate you believe would make a good Governor.

No comments: