Governor Names First Black Republican To Statewide Office

Dwayne Sawyer will replace Tim Berry, making Sawyer the first black Republican to hold a statewide office.

mike pence and dwayne sawyer

Photo: Brandon Smith/IPBS

Gov. Mike Pence announces Dwayne Sawyer as his choice for state auditor.

Governor Mike Pence appointed Dwayne Sawyer state auditor Thursday, making Sawyer the first black Republican to hold a statewide office.

Sawyer, a Brownsburg native, will be sworn in Monday as Indiana’s State Auditor.

The Purdue graduate has an information technology background, working for companies such as Eli Lilly and Dow AgroSciences. He is also active in the Republican Party, serving as a precinct committeeman and Fourth Congressional District committee secretary as well as Brownsburg Town Council president.

And while Sawyer’s appointment is an historic one, Pence says Sawyer’s race did not play a role in his decision.

“He’s the best person for the job,” Pence said. “I believe his professional background, his character, his experience in local government and his activism among those who will choose our next nominee for the this position all greatly endorsed him.”

The state Republican Party chooses its nominee for state auditor at its convention, and Sawyer says he will work to be that nominee.

“I’m looking forward to that opportunity, like he said, to travel the state, meet the people of this good state to earn their nomination and my party for that but today’s focus, tomorrow’s focus is really on the job, about the job,” Saywer says.

Sawyer will serve out the remainder of outgoing Auditor Tim Berry’s term, which ends next year. Berry was elected state Republican Party chair last month.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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  • Blue Dogs

    Congrats to State Auditor Sawyer.

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