INDIANAPOLIS | Gov. Mike Pence has selected state Rep. Suzanne Crouch, R-Evansville, to replace Dwayne Sawyer as Indiana's state auditor.
Describing the five-term lawmaker as "an extraordinary individual who shares my belief that our fiscal integrity is the foundation of our prosperity," the Republican governor said he reached out to Crouch and is grateful she agreed to serve as the state's chief financial officer.
"As you look at Suzanne Crouch's background, when you look at her experience, the reason I picked up the phone and asked her if she'd have a cup of coffee is because I just think she is uniquely qualified to serve Indiana as auditor of state with great distinction," Pence said.
Crouch was vice chairwoman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee during the budget-writing 2013 legislative session. Before winning election to the House in 2005, Crouch served as a Vanderburgh County commissioner and two terms as county auditor.
In 2006, she cosponsored Gov. Mitch Daniels' "Major Moves" legislation that took revenue from the 75-year lease of the Indiana Toll Road to pay for construction of Interstate 69 that someday will connect her southwestern Indiana district with Indianapolis, among other projects.
Crouch said she understands from her years as county auditor the importance of the state auditor in ensuring tax distributions are made promptly and accurately.
"The state auditor is key in the operating of local and state governments, in allowing them to operate in a responsible, efficient and effective manner," Crouch said. "I look forward to working with Gov. Pence, the Legislature and local governments as we continue to move Indiana forward for Hoosier families."
She is scheduled to take the oath of office Jan. 2. Pence has put Erin Sheridan, chief of staff for the auditor's office, in charge until then.
Sawyer's previously announced resignation took effect Sunday. The Pence appointee and first black Republican to hold statewide office quit after just four months for unspecified personal reasons.
He had replaced two-term Auditor Tim Berry, who resigned in August to become Indiana Republican Party chairman.
Crouch said she plans to seek the Republican nomination for a full-term as state auditor at the party's summer 2014 convention.