Republican Indiana state Sen. Connie Lawson will replace ousted Secretary of State Charlie White as Indiana’s top elections official.
Gov. Mitch Daniels announced Lawson’s appointment today. The decision came a day after the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that White’s 2010 candidacy was valid despite his Feb. 4 conviction on voter fraud and other felony charges.
The court ruling dashed Democrats’ hopes of having runner-up Vop Osili named to the job and cleared the way for the Republican governor to appoint a successor.
White was removed from office last month following his conviction. He was sentenced Feb. 23 to one year of home detention.
“Connie was an obvious choice,” Daniels said in a statement. “Indiana has probably never been served by a Secretary of State better prepared on day one.”
Lawson was clerk of the Hendricks County Circuit Court from 1989 to 1996.
Indiana Democratic Party Chairman Dan Parker also issued a statement regarding Lawson’s appointment:
“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’s appointment goes into effect immediately. She has resigned from the Senate.
(Information for this story also came from the Associated Press)