Delegates at the 2014 Indiana Republican State Convention nominated three women – a first – as statewide candidates to compete in the November general election.
Current Secretary of State Connie Lawson and Auditor of State Suzanne Crouch will run for the positions that each currently holds. But it will be the first election for either candidate.
Lawson was appointed by Gov. Mitch Daniels after former Secretary of State Charlie White was ousted in 2012.
Crouch was appointed by Gov. Mike Pence in December after former Auditor Dwayne Sawyer resigned. Republican Tim Berry – who was originally elected to the post – resigned in August to become chairman of the Indiana Republican Party.
But the surprise of the convention was the ascension of Kelly Mitchell as the Republican candidate for Treasurer to succeed the retiring Richard Mourdock.
The position had been the subject of a heated battle between longtime party loyalists and members of the Tea Party groups throughout Indiana.
Candidate Don Bates had Tea Party support, while much of the party leadership establishment appeared to be behind candidate Wayne Seybold. But the battle took its toll, and after three rounds of voting the third candidate carried the day.
Mitchell has been a regular at Carmel Republican events this year. The resident of the northside of Indianapolis also currently works in the Treasurers office.
“My family grew up quite poor. My mother worked in a factory making lamp shades and she worked hard to raise three children as well. I learned a lot from her. Every step of the way, she taught me a lot. She taught me that it is not your circumstances, it’s your choices. And she taught me the truth that no dollar should go to waste, whether you are talking about a household budget or millions in a public account,” Mitchell said of her policy on her website. “Those early lessons served me well. My personal financial management involves putting two kids through college, and setting up a nice nest egg for my husband and I when we choose to retire. And professionally, those lessons have helped me manage more than a half a billion dollars through TrustINdiana.”
The selection of three women at the convention was lauded by party leaders.
“The 2014 Republican statewide ticket is made up of qualified and hard-working Hoosiers who are ready to lead our team to victory in November,” Berry said. “Our state convention energized our Party now, more than ever before. We have three women with outstanding credentials who have been nominated to be at the top of our ticket to continue Indiana’s success story.”
“I want to commend Chairman Tim Berry and our Republican Party leadership for putting together a successful state convention. Delegates to the convention are presenting to Indiana voters a dynamic team for this November,” Pence said. “Connie Lawson, Suzanne Crouch and Kelly Mitchell are great public servants with a proven track record and I am confident that they will continue to serve Hoosiers with great distinction in the years ahead.”
The Republicans will now face Democrats Beth White (Secretary of State), Carmel resident Mike Claytor (Auditor) and Fishers resident Mike Boland (State Treasurer) in the Nov. 6 general election.