Rep. Julie Stokes, R-Kenner, during special session action in the House Ways and Means Committee, Sunday Feb. 25, 2018 at the State Capitol.

Republican state Rep. Julie Stokes has announced she is running for secretary of state in this fall's election.

Stokes, a Kenner Republican, bowed out of last year's treasurer's race after she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. A certified public accountant by trade, Stokes was thought to be a frontrunner in the earlier race. She announced in January that after a six-month battle with Stage 2, triple-negative breast cancer, she was cancer free.

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“With the blessings and encouragement of family, friends, constituents, and doctors, I am announcing my candidacy to become our next Secretary of State," she said in a statement Wednesday. "I have tremendous respect for the proud history of this office, its role in protecting the integrity of our election system, and the service it provides to entrepreneurs. I will strive to improve upon what I can, remove the obstacles that drag the office back, restore morale across the entire department, and ensure that our elections are fair, honest, secure, and carried out with professionalism. Being a CPA, small business owner, and reform-minded legislator, I am prepared for this challenge and expect to take this office to new heights for the citizens of Louisiana.”

Stokes is the first candidate to formally enter the race to replace Tom Schedler, a Republican who resigned two weeks ago amid sexual harassment allegations.

Follow Elizabeth Crisp on Twitter, @elizabethcrisp.