Indiana Sen. Lawson Appointed as Secretary of State

March 16, 2012

(With additional reporting from Indiana Public Broadcasting)

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels has appointed state Senator Connie Lawson to replace ousted Secretary of State Charlie White.

Prior to the announcement, Lawson served as a state senator since 1996. Before that, she served as court clerk in Hendricks County. According to Gov. Daniels, it's those experiences that make her a good fit for the position.

"She's also been a real ally in the quest for local government reform, which takes a certain amount of courage and reformist zeal," Daniels said.

Lawson, who is the second woman to hold the office, will serve the remainder of White's term, which runs until 2015. She said she is ready to get to work.

"I look forward to getting started, meeting the dedicated men and women in the various divisions of the office, and working with them to ensure that the Secretary of State's office is as efficient and effective as it can be," Lawson said.

Lawson's appointment comes a day after the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that White's 2010 candidacy was valid despite his conviction on voter fraud and other felony charges.

Gov. Daniels said even though the Secretary of State's office has seen 'less than ideal' circumstances following White's removal, the staff will make a smooth transition to Lawson's leadership.

"I don't have the impression that there'll be a big cleanup effort necessary, but Connie will put her own stamp on the place and I'm sure pretty quickly," he added.

Interim Secretary of State Jerry Bonnet is returning to his role as Deputy Secretary of State.

Democrats hoped Vop Osili would have gotten the job, but the Indiana Supreme Court ruled earlier this week that Charlie White was eligible to run in 2010. This gave Daniels the ability to appoint a replacement, rather than putting runner-up Osili in office.

Story source: WILL