On Thursday Governor-elect Mike Pence appointed former State Representative Jeff Espich as Senior Advisor for Legislative Affairs.
In a statement, Pence highlighted Espich’s experience with tax and finance legislation, saying it would make him “an invaluable addition to our legislative team.” Espich has served as Chairman of both the House Ways and Means Committee and the State Budget Committee among other leadership roles during his forty years in the state legislature.
Political analyst Ed Feigenbaum said the decision will benefit both Republicans and Democrats in the upcoming legislative session.
"I think it shows that the governor-elect is approaching the budget without a lot of, how do we say this delicately, without really a philosophical bent,” Feigenbaum said. “He’s more interested in the fiscal impacts at this point, and Jeff Espich is someone who can guide him through some of the peaks and valleys in the legislature."
Feigenbaum said there is no one who knows the budget process like Espich, which is beneficial for a politician who has as little experience working with the state legislature as Pence.
In a statement, Espich said he is honored to serve in his new role and hopes he can help Pence implement his agenda.