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Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson

Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson

INDIANAPOLIS | Gov. Mitch Daniels appointed state Sen. Connie Lawson, R-Danville, Indiana's new secretary of state at a Statehouse ceremony Friday.

"Connie was an obvious choice," Daniels said. "Indiana has probably never been served by a secretary of state better prepared on day one."

For 15 years, Lawson represented the suburbs west of Indianapolis in the Senate, where she was Republican floor leader and chairman of the local government committee. She previously served six years as chairman of the Senate Elections Committee and was clerk of the Hendricks County Circuit Court from 1989 to 1996.

As secretary of state, Lawson will oversee Indiana's elections, license Hoosier businesses and regulate the state's securities industry.

She said she was honored to be selected for the job.

"This new opportunity to serve all Hoosiers -- Republicans and Democrats -- across the state is a responsibility that I take very seriously," Lawson said. "I look forward to getting started, meeting the dedicated men and women in the various divisions of the office and working with them to ensure that the secretary of state's office is as efficient and effective as it can be."

Lawson was sworn in by Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman at 10:35 a.m. region time in the governor's office. She resigned her Senate seat earlier on Friday.

Senate President David Long, R-Fort Wayne, said he expects Lawson will be an outstanding secretary of state.

"We are losing a great friend and colleague, but Indiana is gaining a new secretary of state who will restore confidence and integrity to the office," Long said.

Republican Charlie White was removed as secretary of state on Feb. 4 when he was convicted of six felonies, including voter fraud, perjury and theft in connection with an illegal vote he cast in the May 2010 Republican primary.

A ruling by the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday that White was eligible to take office in 2011 gave Daniels the authority to fill the vacancy created by White's felony convictions.

Lawson will complete White's term, serving through 2014.

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