Some of my Republican friends told me not to be surprised to see Beth White not only outraise their candidate, Connie Lawson, but they expected her to outwork her, too. If the early numbers are any indication, we could be heading for just that.
White trails Lawson in total cash on hand, but she raised $76,000 this past quarter. Lawson only raised $41,000. That’s nearly a two-to-one advantage, and it’s quite surprising given that Lawson is an incumbent.
Of course, Lawson hasn’t stood for election before as Secretary of State. She was appointed by Governor Mitch Daniels to take over the Office of the Secretary of State when Charlie White was booted from the Statehouse. Lawson is a former member of the Indiana General Assembly and also at one time held Hendricks County Office.
White is the sitting Marion County Clerk, and she had to fight to get that job. She lost a tight race in 2002 to Doris Anne Sadler. In 2006, she was elected to the office and was sent back to the City-County Building for a second term in 2010. She is constitutionally barred from running for a third term as clerk and has been traversing the state now for months in pursuit of the Secretary of State's job. It seems to be working.
Lawson would be well-advised not to take a well-funded Beth White lightly if she wants to remain Secretary of State. If she wants to keep her job, she's probably going to have to push herself further than most incumbent Secretary of States have ever pushed themselves in a reelection fight. White is making a clear impact, and another quarter like this will mean that Lawson could be in real trouble financially.
Lawson and White will be officially nominated at their respective state conventions later this spring/summer.