HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Governor Ned Lamont has announced that he will name Mark F. Kohler of North Haven to fill the vacancy of the Office of the Secretary of State on Thursday.

This vacancy was created by the expected resignation of Secretary Denise Merrill, who announced her intention to resign this week.

State law dictates that should the Office of the Secretary of State be left vacant while the General Assembly was not in session, then the governor could fill the position. Kohler will begin on July 11 and will stay in that role until a newly elected Secretary of the State takes over, according to officials.

Mark Kohler
Mark Kohler

Kohler retired earlier in 2022, following a 30-year career in the Connecticut Office of the Attorney General, serving as an associate attorney general officials said.

“I am confident that this will be a smooth transition, and that the staff of dedicated professionals that Secretary Merrill has led during her nearly 12 years in office is ready to continue carrying out the office’s duties on behalf of the people of Connecticut,” said Lamont.

Lamont stated that Kohler’s three decades of service in a leadership position at the Office of the Attorney General provided him with the knowledge and experience that would prepare him for his new role as Secretary of the State.

Lamont also explained in making the decision that it was important to him that the candidate has no interest in running for office, to ensure that the short-term position is clear of political agendas.

“I am honored and humbled to be named by Gov. Ned Lamont to serve out the remainder of this term and continue my public service,” Kohler said. “I have the utmost respect, appreciation, and admiration for the work Denise Merrill accomplished in this role, and I look forward to working with her dedicated team of professionals to ensure that our elections are carried out in an accessible, fair, and transparent manner.”