Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) appointed state Rep. Holli Sullivan (R) as secretary of state on Feb. 16. She succeeds Connie Lawson (R), who announced earlier this year that she would be resigning due to health and family reasons. Sullivan will serve until the office’s next scheduled election in November 2022.
Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) first appointed Lawson as secretary of state in March 2012 to fill the vacancy created when Charlie White (R) resigned. Lawson was elected to the position in 2014 and 2018. Her tenure of nine years is the second-longest in the history of the office. Indiana’s first secretary of state, Robert New, served for nine years and one month from 1816 to 1825.
Before being appointed secretary of state, Sullivan served in the Indiana House of Representatives, representing District 78 since 2014. She was originally appointed to the state House after Gov. Mike Pence (R) appointed the district’s previous representative, Suzanne Crouch (R), to state auditor. Sullivan was elected to the legislature in 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2020.
When a vacancy occurs in the Indiana General Assembly, the party that last held the seat must appoint a replacement, with the approval of the chair of the state party. Sullivan’s successor will be selected by the Republican precinct committeemen of District 78.
The Indiana secretary of state is one of five statewide elected offices established by Indiana’s Constitution. The secretary of state is responsible for maintaining state records, overseeing elections, chartering new businesses, and overseeing the state’s securities and motor vehicle dealership industries.