Gov. Mitch Daniels appointed Sen. Connie Lawson Friday, effective immediately.
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Bonnet was appointed interim Secretary of State on February 4, following the dismissal of Charlie White.
Following White’s removal, Democrats filed a lawsuit in an attempt to get the candidate who lost to White, Vop Osili, appointed as the new secretary of state. Democrats argued White was not a legal candidate to run for the position and therefore his opponent should be appointed.
However, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday Charlie White was a legal candidate for the position. Therefore, the court ruled Gov. Daniels would appoint the new secretary of state.
Indiana Democrats released the following statement following the appointment of Sen. Lawson:
“We congratulate Senator Lawson on her appointment and wish her well in this position. We hope she will uphold the election code and work across the aisle to protect and expand the Hoosier electorate and not disenfranchise voters.
“Senator Lawson has a tough road ahead of her to restore integrity to an office stained by the record of the convicted felon who most recently occupied it. We hope, for all Hoosiers, that she is able to successfully rebuild.”
Lawson has been a Majority Floor Leader and a senator since 1996. She also spent six years as the chair of the Senate Elections Committee. She stepped down from the Indiana Senate Friday.
“Today, I am honored. I thank Governor Daniels for placing his trust in me to serve as Indiana’s Secretary of State,” said Lawson. “Although it is sad to think of leaving the Senate and no longer serving the constituents of Senate District 24 in the same manner that I have for the last 15 plus years, I am excited to bring my experiences as a county clerk and chair of the Senate Elections and Local Government committees to this position. The opportunity to serve all Hoosiers, republicans and democrats, across our state is a responsibility I take very seriously.”
“I look forward to getting started, meeting with the dedicated men and women in the various divisions to ensure that the Secretary of State’s office is as efficient and effective as it can be. I also would like to thank Jerry Bonnet for serving as interim Secretary of State. He has done a great service for our state. I applaud his work and am grateful for his service during this transition.”