Republican Kelly Mitchell has taken office early as Indiana’s state treasurer to fill the final weeks of Richard Mourdock’s term.

Gov. Mike Pence announced Tuesday his appointment of Mitchell to the office to which she won election this month to a full four-year term starting in January.

Mitchell replaces interim Treasurer Daniel Huge. Mourdock resigned before the end of his second term in August, shortly before a cut in retirement benefits for state workers took effect.

Mitchell was a surprise winner of the Republican nomination during this summer’s state party convention, beating out establishment and tea party-backed candidates.

Mitchell was an investment fund director in the treasurer’s office before stepping down to campaign full time. She previously served two terms as a Cass County commissioner.

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