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Lamont picks retired state official to complete Denise Merrill’s term as secretary of the state

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Office of the Connecticut Secretary of the State
Mark Kohler of North Haven, who had a 30-year career in the Office of the Attorney General, is sworn in as Secretary of the State.

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has chosen a retired state official to complete Secretary of the State Denise Merrill’s term in office.

Mark Kohler of North Haven, who retired earlier this year after a 30-year career in the Office of the Attorney General, is Lamont’s pick.

The governor said he chose Kohler because it was important to appoint someone who would have no interest in running for political office.

“Mark is an exceptional public servant,” Lamont said. "He’s been specialized in election law over at the Attorney General’s Office. He has just taken a retirement. He’s agreed to stay on and help us for six months."

Kohler would make sure the November election and upcoming August primaries are smoothly conducted, Lamont said.

Merrill resigned from her office to take care of her husband, who has Parkinson’s disease.

“Sometimes life throws you a curveball and you can't quite finish what you started. But it's the right decision for me and my family,“ Merrill said.

A new secretary of the state will be elected in November.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.