INDIANAPOLIS | Gov. Mike Pence has selected a central Indiana developer of financial and accounting systems to become the new state auditor.
Dwayne Sawyer, 47, the Republican president of the Brownsburg Town Council and a senior software engineer at the molecular imaging company Positron, is set to take the oath of office Monday at a Statehouse ceremony.
Sawyer told reporters Thursday he's ready to get to work as Indiana's chief financial officer: managing and paying the state's bills, distributing tax revenue to local governments and overseeing the Indiana Transparency Portal.
"My experience in the private sector and local government will help drive technological efficiencies that will save taxpayer dollars, help to bring greater visibility, awareness and transparency regarding our state's finances and, above all, continue the tradition of excellence of the auditor's office," Sawyer said.
Pence said it wasn't easy replacing former State Auditor Tim Berry, who resigned Tuesday after being elected chairman of the Indiana Republican Party last month, but he believes Sawyer, who will become the first black Republican to serve in a statewide office, is the best Hoosier for the job.
"We had some outstanding men and women that we interviewed from all over the state of Indiana for this position, but again and again it was Dwayne Sawyer who emerged as the best choice for all the people of Indiana and it's an honor to announce his appointment," Pence said.
Sawyer will complete Berry's term as auditor, which runs through 2014. He must win the Republican nomination next summer at the party's state convention to seek a full term of his own.
The governor said he's certain that Sawyer, an executive committee member of the Hendricks County Republican Party, will successfully reach out to Republicans across Indiana to win the nomination.
"As people in our party come to know this good man and his wonderful family in the months ahead ... I have every confidence that he will be the nominee for this position," Pence said.
Sawyer grew up in four states and Japan as a self-described U.S. Air Force "brat." He graduated from Purdue University in 1989 and has spent his professional life in Indiana.
He and his wife, Melissa, have three children they home school.