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Indiana governor names new secretary of state

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 16, 2012 7:14 PM
Indiana governor names new secretary of state

By Susan Guyett

INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) - Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels appointed a Republican lawmaker who served as majority floor leader in the state Senate as secretary of state on Friday to replace Charlie White, who was convicted of voter fraud.

Daniels named state senator Connie Lawson of Danville, who resigned on Friday from the Indiana Senate seat she has held since 1996, to the office. Lawson had served as the majority floor leader in the Senate.

White was removed from office after being convicted in February on six criminal charges, including perjury, theft and voter fraud.

Democrats had challenged White's eligibility for the 2010 election, and a lower court had ruled that his Democratic opponent Vop Osili, who lost the race to White by 300,000 votes, should be named to the office.

But the state Supreme Court later ruled that White had been the legitimate office-holder, despite lying about where he lived, disappointed Democrats who wanted Osili to fill the vacant seat.

(Reporting By Susan Guyett; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Cynthia Johnston)