Although it looks like Republican Secretary of State candidate Charlie White will coast to victory on Tuesday, despite allegations of voter fraud and campaign irregularities, some questions have arisen what would happen should White be charged with voter fraud and convicted.
If White is convicted while in Office he would automatically have to give up his position. If charged, he could still serve. And under Indiana law, Governor Mitch Daniels would pick his replacement. The relevant statute is below.
(a) This section applies to a vacancy that occurs in a state office other than governor, lieutenant governor, or a judicial office.
(b) If a state officer wants to resign from office, the state officer must resign as provided in IC 5-8-3.5.
(c) A vacancy that occurs in a state office because of the death of the state officer may be certified to the governor under IC 5-8-6.
(d) A vacancy that occurs in a state office other than by resignation or death shall be certified to the governor by the circuit court clerk of the county in which the officer resided.
(e) The governor shall fill a vacancy in a state office by appointment. The governor may not fill a vacancy as provided by law until the governor receives notice of the death under IC 5-8-6.
(f) The person who is appointed by the governor holds office for the remainder of the unexpired term and until a successor is elected and qualified.
As added by P.L.5-1986, SEC.9. Amended by P.L.3-1987, SEC.430; P.L.119-2005, SEC.1.
The same rule would apply if White is forced to step down prior to being sworn in January. The Governor would pick someone to fill White’s full term. I frankly think if there is a indictment handed down, White will resign.
Names that have surfaced as his likely replacements include former State Representative Luke Messer, Valparasio Mayor Jon Costas, and former DNR Commissioner Kyle Hupfer if he’s unsuccessful in his race for the Statehouse out of Madison County.