Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson on Monday announced plans to resign from office with almost two years left on her current term.
Lawson did not specify an exact date when she would step down but said the resignation would take place when Gov. Eric Holcomb “selects a successor and the successor is ready to serve.”
Lawson, 71, is the longest-serving secretary of state in Indiana history. She was appointed to the office by then-Gov. Mitch Daniels in March 2012 and was elected in 2014 and 2018.
“I have dedicated the last 32 years of my life to public service,” Lawson said in written remarks. “I have served with all of my heart and soul. It has been an honor to serve, but it is time for me to step down. Like many Hoosiers, 2020 took a toll on me. I am resigning so I can focus on my health and my family.”
Prior to becoming secretary of state, Lawson served in the Indiana Senate for 16 years. In 2006, she was selected as the first woman to serve as majority floor leader in the Senate.
Before joining the Indiana Senate, Lawson served as clerk of the Hendricks Circuit Court for eight years.
Valerie Warycha, spokeswoman for the secretary of state, said Lawson would not provide further details about her departure.
“I will work with Governor Holcomb to ensure our next Secretary of State is up to the task and has the tools and resources to hit the ground running,” she said.
In a statement, Holcomb said would “forever count myself fortunate and proud to say, ‘I served with Connie Lawson.’”
“Indiana’s own Iron Lady, Secretary of State Connie Lawson, has long defined what true public service and leadership is and ought to be all about,” he said. “Throughout her time in county, legislative and statewide office, she set the standard for commitment, composure, class and credibility. No matter the year or issues of the day, citizens could bank on Connie Lawson leading the way and inspiring others to follow.
“A trailblazer, holder of state records, even serving alongside three Governors as Secretary of State, through it all, Connie has remained universally respected by veterans and the next generation alike.”
As Indiana’s chief elections officer, Lawson advocated for election changes surrounding cybersecurity, as well as improvements to the state’s online portal for registering and managing businesses.
Shortly after the the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Lawson’s decision to allow no-excuse mail-in voting in the spring primary was supported by Holcomb and other Republican state leaders. She resisted appeals from Democrats and voting rights groups to lift the ballot limits for the November election, however.