Democratic gubernatorial candidate Woody Myers has selected a former state lawmaker to be his lieutenant governor candidate.
Myers, a former Indiana state health commissioner and Anthem Inc. executive, announced in a virtual press conference Friday morning that former state Rep. Linda Lawson will be his running mate.
Initially, the deadline for Myers to make a decision was noon Tuesday, but the Indiana Democratic State Central Committee delayed the deadline to 10 a.m. Friday.
Lawson, 71, represented a northwest Indiana district at the Statehouse for 20 years. She retired in 2018 to move to Brown County.
When she left the state Legislature, she was the second-ranking House Democrat, serving as Indiana House Democratic Floor Leader since 2012. She also served six years as House Judiciary Committee chairwoman when Democrats controlled the chamber.
The Myers campaign said Lawson was the first woman to ever lead a caucus in the Indiana House when she was chosen as Minority Leader in 2012. She also was first female police officer on the Hammond Police Department, rising to the rank of captain after a long career as a patrol officer and member of the sex crimes and domestic violence units.
“Linda brings not only legislative experience and leadership, but also she has broken the glass ceiling numerous times,” Myers said in a written statement. “Linda is an example to all Hoosiers of what can be accomplished with hard work and determination. Indiana needs her intelligence and grit now more than ever, and I’m honored she has agreed to be my partner on the ticket.”
When she announced her retirement, she said she was tired after 41 years of public service—she had worked as a police officer for 24 years and served on a school board for 12 years. Lawson also said she thought the environment at the Statehouse had become “toxic.”
Lawson moved to Brown County after retiring from the legislature and has been active in politics there.
“I was happy in the gorgeous southern Indiana countryside and keeping my hand in politics. But, I knew I still had a lot more to do for the people of Indiana,” Lawson said in written remarks. “When Woody approached me, I was intrigued by the thought of helping Indiana recover from the coronavirus and its economic fallout. I spent several terms on the employment committee in the legislature and know that there will be important issues to deal with over the next few years as a result of the pandemic. The more we talked, the more I realized this was the right thing for me to do.”
Myers, 66, who does not have a primary challenger, is hoping to beat Republican incumbent Eric Holcomb in the fall. Holcomb’s running mate is Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch.