Eric Holcomb confirmed as new lieutenant governor for Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Latest on Eric Holcomb taking office as Indiana’s new lieutenant governor (all times local):

10:30 a.m.

The Indiana Legislature has confirmed former state Republican chairman Eric Holcomb as the state’s new lieutenant governor.

The state Senate voted 50-0 shortly after the House voted 91-3 Thursday morning to approve Gov. Mike Pence’s pick of Holcomb. He is to be sworn into office Thursday afternoon to succeed Sue Ellspermann, who resignation was effective Wednesday.

Republican legislative leaders praised Holcomb’s selection, citing his experience as a top aide to former Gov. Mitch Daniels. Senate Democratic leader Tim Lanane (LAN‘-in) said he would go along with Pence’s pick, but that he questioned the reasons given for the change.

Ellspermann is applying to become Ivy Tech Community College’s new president, but she and Pence have differences over civil rights protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

9:35 a.m.

The Indiana House has confirmed the nomination of former state Republican chairman Eric Holcomb to succeed Sue Ellspermann as the state’s lieutenant governor.

The House voted 91-3 Thursday morning to approve Gov. Mike Pence’s pick of Holcomb. The Senate is expected to sign-off on the unusual move later Thursday morning, after which Holcomb will be sworn into office.

Holcomb will be Pence’s running mate for an expected tough re-election campaign this year against Democratic candidate John Gregg, whom Pence narrowly defeated in 2012. Ellspermann formally resigned Wednesday as she applies to become Ivy Tech Community College’s president.

The only time since the 1940s a new lieutenant governor was selected in the middle of a term was in 2003 following the death of Gov. Frank O’Bannon.

7:50 a.m.

Lawmakers are expected to hold a confirmation vote for Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s choice to replace former Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann.

Pence’s office says former state Republican Party chairman Eric Holcomb will be sworn-in after the Thursday vote. Ellspermann stepped down, saying she wanted to pursue the top post at Ivy Tech Community College.

Pence announced three weeks ago that Holcomb would be his new running-mate. Pence faces a tough election in a rematch with Democratic candidate John Gregg, whom he narrowly defeated in 2012.

Holcomb previously was chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Dan Coats and campaign manager for former Gov. Mitch Daniels.

Lawmakers said they wanted to make the transition before the legislative session ends March 10. Otherwise, the Legislature would have to return for a special session to confirm Holcomb.

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