(INDIANAPOLIS) - Sen. Connie Lawson was appointed as the new Indiana secretary of state on Friday, replacing convicted felon Charlie White.
Lawson, a Republican, previously served as a state senator from Hendricks County.
Gov. Mitch Daniels made the announcement from his Statehouse office at 11:30 a.m., a day after the Indiana Supreme Court dashed Democrats' hopes of filling the politically powerful office.
"I have to say (Lawson) will be a loss in the senate. She's been a leader and a really trusted ally. She's been on the point of local government reform with the cleanup of nepotism and conflict of interest in this session is just her latest achievement, in that respect," Daniels said. "I'm really happy for her and Indiana."
Lawson was sworn in by Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman immediately after Daniels made the appointment, RTV6's Norman Cox reported.
Thursday, the court voted unanimously to overturn a Marion County judge's decision ordering the state recount commission to certify 2010 runner-up Vop Osili as the state's top elections official after Charlie White had to vacate the office following felony convictions on charges of voter fraud.
One of Lawson's first unspoken tasks will be to move the office beyond the specter of the disgraced White. She acknowledged as much in answering a question about whether she needs to do any damage control.
"The process is over. It's been a long process," Lawson said. "We'll be putting a team together, and we'll assess that."
Lawson said there's a lot of work to be done with the primary election less than eight weeks away, and she's anxious to begin.
Lawson also previously served as the Hendricks County clerk and the chairwoman of the senate elections committee.
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