Indiana Governor’s decision to pick State Senator Connie Lawson as Secretary of State has implications far wider than just simply restoring a sense of stability to the Office that has been rocked by turmoil for more than a year and a half.
Daniels made the announcement Friday, saying he had called Lawson the day before to formally offer her the position. He said she was the most qualified person in the history of the Office to step up and take the job, citing her experience as a a former county clerk and serving on the Senate Elections and Local Government committees. Lawson came to state government in 1996 and said she was proud to serve her constituents and would now be serving them in a different way.
Lawson’s departure from the Senate creates an interesting dynamic for Senate Protempore David Long. Over the years the body has become more ideologically conservative with moderates Republicans leaving and being replaced by more hardcore conservatives. Speaking to reporters afterward, Long says he doesn’t think that is as big an issue as some of in the media may be making it out to be.
In addition, precinct committeemen from Lawson’s district must now gather together to pick her replacement. Indy Poltiics is told that because Lawson is on the ballot and it is too late for her name to be taken off, there must be two caucuses. One to fill out the rest of her term and the other to replace her on the ballot. Some names that have surfaced for replacement and more are expected. They include Hendricks Regional Health CEO Dennis Dawes, Hendricks County Commissioner Eric Wathen and County Treasurer Nancy Marsh and Brownsburg Councilman Dwayne Sawyer.