Candidates respond to controversies over mailings, transparency

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INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 23, 2014) - With less than two weeks until the November election, the attack gloves are off.

The race for Secretary of State is getting particularly tense, after accusations of voter intimidation and potentially illegal campaign mailings.

Democrat Beth White is going after Republicans this week – White wants her opponent, current Secretary of State Connie Lawson, to provide more information about potential challenges to people on the inactive voter rolls.

“This information is being used to intimidate and disenfranchise voters and it needs to stop,” said White in a Wednesday news conference outside the Statehouse.

Lawson responded to the accusations in an interview with FOX59 on Thursday.

“Was I upset to hear she said that? Yeah, it bothered me a lot,” said Lawson. “It's simply not true. Both the Democrat and Republican state parties asked for the same information off the voter registration lists.”

Meantime, Republicans are planning on filing a complaint against White's campaign for potentially illegal campaign flyers, which didn't include the required disclaimer that shows who's paying for it. White says the information was sent to the printer, but was inadvertently excluded.

“I take responsibility for the disclaimer correction,” said White. “But the more important thing is that there are voters in the state of Indiana whose rights are being violated.”

Another statewide candidate met with reporters on Thursday.

Democrat Mike Claytor is running for auditor against Republican Suzanne Crouch, who was appointed to the position by Gov. Mike Pence after the abrupt departure of former auditor Dwayne Sawyer.

Claytor called for more transparency from state officials in a news conference on Thursday, and said he has yet to hear back from the state on a series of public records requests.

“Every time I raise an issue of transparency, the response I get from the other side is that the state auditor has no business talking about these kinds of issues,” said Claytor.

“He really needs to understand what the office does,” said state GOP chair Tim Berry, who served as auditor before Sawyer’s brief term in office. “Quite frankly we’re 12 days from the election. He’s seen the polls, he’s down (and) he’s throwing whatever he can against the wall to see if he can get something to stick.”

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