Pence Running Mate Explains 2008 Vote At Fort Wayne Campaign Stop

By Jeff Neumeyer

May 22, 2012 Updated May 22, 2012 at 6:29 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Indiana's new Republican candidate for Lt. governor is left to explain a decision she made in 2008, which nearly got her thrown out of a race for the Indiana Legislature.

Supporters on Tuesday treated Mike Pence to applause, as he introduced his new running mate at a Fort Wayne campaign event.

But the choice of Sue Ellspermann is not without some controversy.

The southern Indiana state representative voted in the 2008 Democratic Primary, a fact she says she forgot when she signed up in 2010 to run for the state legislature as a Republican.

Ellspermann claims to be a life-long Republican, but in May 2008, she chose a Democratic ballot to vote in the historic Barack Obama-Hillary Clinton Presidential race.

In 2010, in filing paperwork for the state rep. race, she checked a box indicating she had voted Republican in the most recent election.

She admitted the mistake when a voter challenged her claim, and tried to have her thrown off the ballot.

Sue Ellspermann/(R) Lt. Governor Candidate: " I did not even think about the fact that I had crossed over. I would not have had any hesitation to bring that forward had I even realized I had done it, but it was a different year."

Mike Pence/(R) Governor Candidate: " It was a clerical error that was resolved in front of the Indiana Election Commission, and she was able to go forward, and obviously, be successful being elected to the General Assembly."

Her right to run was upheld, after a deadlocked 2 to 2 vote by the state election commission, and two rulings by courts of law.

She got four Republican county chairpersons to endorse her campaign, but those endorsements happened after a candidate-filing deadline passed in February 2010.

Pence believes Ellspermann is uniquely qualified to help him accomplish his number one goal if elected governor, and that is to advance job creation.

She's a long-time business owner, who got her Ph.D. in engineering.

Ellspermann hails from Ferdinand, in Dubois County, which is near Evansville.

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