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INDIANAPOLIS– Gov. Holcomb named State Rep. Holli Sullivan (R-Evansville) as Indiana’s next secretary of state Tuesday afternoon.

“I’m thrilled Rep. Holli Sullivan has accepted this new leadership role for I know she will serve Hoosiers with the same intellect, integrity and energy she brought to the General Assembly,” Gov. Holcomb said. “Secretary of State Sullivan hits the ground running, building on the remarkable work Hoosiers have come to expect from the office during Connie Lawson’s historic tenure.”

Sullivan was sworn in as Secretary of State today by Chief Justice Loretta Rush. She also serves as the current vice chair of the Indiana Republican Party.

“I want to thank Secretary Connie Lawson for her decades of public service and Governor Holcomb for this opportunity to serve Hoosiers,” Sullivan said. “I look forward to building on Indiana’s record of free, fair, and secure elections to make sure every eligible voter can vote and every legal vote is counted.”

Sullivan will replace current Republican Secretary of State Connie Lawson, who said last month she was resigning with nearly two years left in her elected term.

Lawson didn’t give a specific reason for her decision, only saying that 2020 took a toll on her and that she was stepping down to focus on her health and family. Lawson was first appointed secretary of state in 2012 and won elections in 2014 and 2018. Lawson’s replacement can complete her current term through January 2023.

The secretary of state’s office oversees election and voting issues, along with chartering businesses and regulating the securities industry.

Lawson supported allowing no-excuse mail-in voting for last year’s spring primary early in the coronavirus pandemic, but she, Holcomb and other Republican state leaders turned down appeals from Democrats and voting rights groups to lift the mail-in ballot limits for the November election.

John Zody, chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party, issued this statement:

If Holli Sullivan’s record is an indication of how she’ll treat the right to vote as Secretary of State, Indiana voters will have an opponent instead of a needed ally in the office. Under GOP control in Indiana, there have been repeated restrictions to deny Hoosiers access to the vote by restricting absentee-by-mail during a global pandemic, refusing to expand voting hours and even denying the validity of the 2020 election. Holli Sullivan has been a part of this as a legislator and an officer in the Republican Party, and this party has shown absolutely no vision for Indiana and its families. The right to vote must be expanded for every eligible voter in this state to have a voice, and that will only happen with the right person in the Secretary of State’s office. Indiana Democrats are looking forward to this discussion in the 2022 election.