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"2020 Took A Toll On Me." Indiana Secretary Of State Will Resign

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Photo provided by the State of Indiana
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Indiana will soon have a new secretary of state after Connie Lawson announced Monday she is resigning her post.

Lawson, who is 71, said she’s stepping down to focus on her health and her family. In a statement, the Republican said, "Like many Hoosiers, 2020 took a toll on me."

Lawson is the longest-serving secretary of state in Indiana’s history. That’s because she was appointed to the role by Gov. Mitch Daniels in 2012 after then-Secretary Charlie White was convicted of voter fraud. She was then re-elected in 2014 and 2018.

Gov. Eric Holcomb will appoint a replacement. Lawson said she’ll officially step down once her successor has been identified. That person will serve out the rest of her term through the end of next year.

Holcomb said in a statement he was fortunate to have 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," Holcomb said in a statement. "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."

Hoosiers will elect a new secretary of state in the 2022 general election. Lawson, term-limited, would not have been able to run again.

Prior to her time as secretary of state, Lawson served 16 years in the Indiana Senate. That included a history-making turn as Senate majority leader, the first time a woman had served in such a position in either chamber of the General Assembly.

The Hendricks County native served as president of the National Association of Secretaries of State between 2017 and 2018. She also attracted some attention for serving on President Donald Trump's contentious voter fraud commission. And she was involved in several lawsuits over the state's use of a controversial voter information system – run by the Kansas Secretary of State – that helped remove Hoosier voters from the rolls (some in error).

This story has been updated.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.