Indiana News

Lawson Appointed by Daniels To Be Secretary of State

Former state senator to fill remaining two years of Charlie White's term



Connie Lawson is sad to leave the State Senate after more than 15 years, but she also says she is thrilled to serve in a new office, though it comes under less than ideal circumstances.


Lawson (R-Danville) was appointed Secretary of State by Governor Daniels to serve the remaining two years of Charlie White's term. Her appointment came after the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that only Daniels could name White's successor following his conviction for voter fraud and other felonies. "She is just superbly ready, and I'm just so proud to have the opportunity to appoint her," Daniels said.

First elected to the Senate in 1996, Lawson served as Majority Leader for Senate President Pro Tem David Long this year. She also served on the Senate Elections Committee, which allowed her to help write some of the election laws she'll now oversee.

"I guess this means the family's Spring break trip may be off," Lawson joked with Daniels after she was sworn in by her longtime friend, Lt. Governor Becky Skillman.

White was removed from office following his felony convictions, though there is a chance he could be reinstated if he successfully appeals. Lawson says she isn't thinking about that. "It's been a long process, and I'm going to focus on moving the Secretary of State's office forward," Lawson said. "One thing we need to keep in mind; it's time to do that. We have a primary election in 53 days in a major election cycle."

Lawson also isn't thinking about whether to run for a full term as Secretary of State in 2014. "It's too early to say that. But what I do plan to do is position myself to run that if that's what I'd like to do."

Though other candidates for the position came to mind, Daniels said the choice was easy. "Connie's was always the first name I thought of, and there was never really a rival," Daniels said. "Look at her credentials for this job. Look at her repuation for legislative integrity. She's well regarded on both sides of the aisle."

Both Daniels and Lawson praised the work of Jerry Bonnet, who served as interim Secretary of State since White's conviction. "All the staff there that really performed, as far as I know, superbly throughout under less than optimum circumstances," Daniels said.

Following White's conviction, Democrats tried to have the man who lost to White in 2010, Vop Osili, named Secretary of State. They argued that White was ineligible for the 2010 ballot because of questions about where he lived when he registered to vote. But the state Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Democrats waited too long to challenge White's residency, giving Daniels the power to appoint his successor.

Lawson would have been up for re-election to her Senate seat this year, and her name will remain on the May 8th primary ballot. Republican precint committee members will meet next month to elect someone to serve the rest of Lawson's Senate term. A second caucus will take place after the primary to name a candidate for the November general election.

» Gov. Daniels To Appoint Charlie White's Replacement (3-15-12)
» Charlie White Sentenced to Home Detention; Planning Appeal (2-23-12)
» Jury Foreman in White Trial Speaks (2-7-12)
» Charlie White Found Guilty (2-4-12)
» Jury Deliberating the Fate of Charlie White (2-3-12)
» Closing Arguments In White Trial Friday (2-2-12)
» Charlie White Prosecutors Plan To Wrap Soon (2-1-12)
» Charlie White's Former Neighbor Testifies (1-31-12)
» Testimony Underway in Voter Fraud Trial of Charlie White (1-31-12)
» Opening Statements Starting in White Trial (1-30-12)
» Jury Selection Underway for Trial of Embattled Secretary of State (1-30-12)
» Judge Rules 'Stay' For Charlie White (1-4-12)
» Latest in the case of Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White (1-3-12)
» Political Expert Weighs in on Charlie White Situation (12-23-11)
» UPDATE: Judge Puts Hold On Order to Remove Secretary of State (12-23-11)
» Judge Rules Charlie White Ineligible as Secretary of State Candidate (12-22-11)
» Judge Denies Dismissal Motion in Charlie White Case (12-19-11)
» Brizzi Seeking Bench Trial For Charlie White (12-9-11)
» Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White Expected Back In Court (12-9-11)
» Judge Grants White's Request for a Dismissal Hearing (11-16-11)
» Election Board Will Review Allegations Against White, Bayh (10-25-11)
» Prosecutor Rejects Call for Bayh Probe, Questions White's Conduct (10-20-11)
» Prosecutor Needs Time to Review Bayh Allegations (10-12-11)
» Charlie White Files Complaint Against Evan Bayh (10-11-11)
» Supreme Court: No Shortcuts in Charlie White Election Challenge (9-13-11)
» Charlie White Trial Delayed for Second Time (8-15-11)
» Former Prosecutor to Represent Secretary of State (8-3-11)
» Democrats Try Again to Oust White As Secretary of State (7-28-11)
» Charlie White Trial Moved to September (7-28-11)
» Commission Upholds Secretary of State's Election Win (6-28-11)
» Charlie White Decision Coming Earlier Than Expected (6-27-11)
» White Rebuffed in Request to Prosecute His Prosecutor (6-23-11)
» Recount Commission Holds Hearing on White's Eligibility (6-21-11)
» White Defends Tangled Address Trail (6-21-11)
» White Again Denied Immunity for Recount Commission Testimony (6-20-11)
» Cameras to Be Allowed in Courtroom in White Case (6-15-11)
» No Delay in Charlie White Election Hearing (5-20-11)
» Recount Commission to Appeal Ruling in White Case (5-11-11)
» Charlie White Report: "Apparent But Rebuttable" Evidence of Voter Fraud (5-5-11)
» Challenge to White's Candidacy to Be Resolved in June (5-4-11)
» Judge Will Set Deadline to Resolve Charlie White Election Dispute (4-28-11)
» Democrats Will Gain Secretary of State's Office If White Is Disqualified (4-27-11)
» Judge Orders GOP to Get Charlie White Challenge Off Square One (4-26-11)
» Republicans Could Lose Major-Party Status (4-19-11)
» White Recuses Himself from Case Against Him (4-13-11)
» Judge Reverses Decision on Secretary of State (4-7-11)
» Decision Expected Thursday in Dems' Challenge of White Candidacy (4-6-11)
» Secretary of State Appoints New Deputy (3-14-11)
» Deputy Secretary of State Resigns (3-12-11)
» White Pleads Not Guilty; Trial Set for August (3-11-11)
» Professor Breaks Down Charges Against Secretary of State (3-7-11)
» Secretary of State Will Not Resign (3-3-11)
» Governor Calls for Secretary of State to Step Down (3-3-11)
» Secretary of State Indicted on Voter Fraud Charges (3-3-11)
» White Sworn In As Secretary of State (1-6-11)
» Democrats Demand Second Chance to Unseat White As Secretary of State (12-31-10)
» State to Review Wrong-Precinct Voting (12-14-10)
» Recount Commission Dismisses Dems' SOS Challenge (12-13-10)
» Secretary of State-Elect Tries Again to Halt Election Challenge (12-6-10)
» Panel to Meet Sunday on Secretary of State Race (11-29-10)
» Indiana Democrats Say Runner-Up Should Get Secretary Job (11-19-10)
» Democrats File Complaint Against SOS Candidate (10-28-10)
» Special Prosecutors In Charlie White Case (10-11-10)
» Special Prosecutor to Look Into Candidate's Alleged Voter Fraud (10-1-10)
» GOP Fires Back in Secretary of State Battle (9-30-10)
» Democrats Claim Fraud in GOP Nominee's Residency Mistake (9-28-10)
» White Campaign Responds To Allegations (9-22-10)
» Secretary of State Nominee Resigns Council Seat (9-21-10)


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