BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A Louisiana state lawmaker is running for the secretary of state's job in the fall election.

Rep. Julie Stokes, a Jefferson Parish Republican, became the first announced candidate in the race to be Louisiana's next elections chief. She released a statement and online video Wednesday kicking off her campaign for the November ballot.

Stokes says she wants to work to protect Louisiana's elections, encourage voter participation and restore "morale across the entire department."

A special election is being held to fill the position because Republican Tom Schedler resigned after one of his employees accused him of sexual harassment in a lawsuit.

Stokes, an accountant, had intended to run for state treasurer in last year's election, but she was then diagnosed with breast cancer. After treatment, she says she's cancer-free.