||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2015)|
|61st Secretary of State of Indiana|
March 16, 2012
|Preceded by||Jerry Bonnet (interim)
|Member of the Indiana Senate
from the 24th district
1996 – March 16, 2012
April 20, 1949 |
|Children||Brandon Lawson and Kylie Lawson Kult|
|Occupation||Auctioneer and Real Estate Business Owner|
Early life, education, and career
Lawson was elected Clerk of the Hendricks County Circuit Court in 1988, and served two four-year terms before running for the Indiana Senate. As clerk, her responsibilities included maintaining all records of the court and overseeing elections. During this period, Lawson also served as President of the Indiana Clerks’ Association and chair of the group’s legislative committee. This experience would later prove useful in the Senate and as Indiana’s chief elections officer.
After incumbent State Senator Dick Thompson decided to run for Congress in 1996, Lawson joined a five-way Republican primary race for the open seat. She won her party’s nomination and the November General Election, representing the 24th District in east-central Indiana. She was appointed Majority Floor Leader in 2006, the first woman in Indiana to hold this leadership position.
During her tenure, Senator Lawson chaired the committees on Local Government, Joint Rules, and Elections. She was also assigned to the Tax and Fiscal Policy, Rules and Legislative Procedure, and Appointments and Claims committees.
Among her many legislative achievements, Lawson was instrumental in establishing the Department of Child Services to protect Indiana’s children from abuse and neglect. In the 2012 Legislative Session, she authored a local government reform bill aimed at nepotism and conflict-of-interest. Lawson also advocated for the expansion of the Ivy Tech Community College system and the construction of a new campus in Greencastle, Indiana. She championed the photo ID requirement to prevent voter fraud, the option for counties to use vote centers, on-line voter registration capability, HPV education for sixth grade parents, and moved school board elections to the General Election where turnout is higher and more voices are heard on education matters.
Secretary of State
On March 16, 2012, Connie Lawson was appointed by Governor Mitch Daniels to serve as Secretary of State. Governor Daniels called her the obvious choice because of the local and state elections experience she brings to the office. Although she had just over a month to prepare for her first primary election as Indiana’s chief elections officer, Lawson’s extensive experience with elections as a county clerk and state senator resulted in a successfully administered primary.
The Secretary of State is one of five constitutional officers enumerated in the Indiana Constitution. The Secretary was originally charged with maintaining state records and preserving the state seal, although the powers of the office have expanded significantly.
As Secretary, Lawson oversees over sixty employees in four divisions (Securities, Business Services, Auto Dealers, and Elections). She travels the state extensively and regularly meets with foreign delegations and her counterparts in other states.
In addition to her government work, Lawson is an advocate for stronger awareness of health issues, such as cervical cancer, lupus, and youth suicide prevention.
Awards and Honors
Indiana Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, Career Recognition Award-2012
Mental Health America of Indiana, Lifetime Achievement Award-2012
United Way of Central Indiana, Zup’s Imagination Award—2012
Danville High School, Distinguished Alumnus—2012
Indiana Hands & Voices—2011
Mental Health America of Indiana, Legislator of the Year—2010, 2011
Indiana Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, Legislator of the Year—2010
Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Champion—2009
Indiana Psychology Association, Legislator of the Year—2009
National Federation of Independent Business, Guardian of Small Business—2008
America Academy of Pediatrics Indiana Chapter, Supporter of Child Immunization—2008
Women in Government, Presidential Leader Award-2007
Ronald Reagan Legacy Award—2001
Indiana Clerks’ Association Clerk of the Year—1993
Indiana State Election Board Election Administrator of the Year—1993
Connie Lawson is married to Jack Lawson, has two children, and six grandchildren. She and her husband own and operate Lawson & Company, an auctioneer and real estate business.
- Mary Beth Schneider (March 16, 2012). "Gov. Mitch Daniels picks Connie Lawson as new Indiana Secretary of State". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved March 16, 2012.