Just one day after current Texas Secretary of State John Scott announced he would resign at the end of the year, Gov. Greg Abbott announced his intention to appoint outgoing State Sen. Jane Nelson (R–Flower Mound) to the post.
The secretary serves as the state’s chief election officer, as well as chief international protocol officer and the governor’s senior advisor and liaison for Texas border and Mexican affairs. The Office of the Secretary of State also publishes government rules and regulations, and is a repository for official and business and commercial records.
The position is appointed by the governor, but requires two-thirds approval of the Texas Senate. That hasn’t happened since 2017, with previous appointees David Whitley and Ruth Hughs being forced to resign at the end of the last two legislative sessions after failing to garner enough support.
Nelson could change that.
First elected to the Texas Senate in 1992, Nelson served 10 terms in the chamber where she served as the chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee before announcing her retirement last year. Her relationship with members of the chamber could mean an easier time gaining confirmation.
“Senator Nelson’s lifelong commitment to public service and deep understanding of state government will be assets in her new role ensuring the critical duties of Secretary of State are fulfilled,” said Abbott. “Nothing is more important to a free society than fair elections, and the State of Texas will continue working to uphold and protect this right.”
Nelson said she was looking forward to serving in the position.
“I look forward to this new chapter of public service and appreciate the confidence Governor Abbott has placed in me to serve as Secretary of State,” said Nelson. “Voters expect fair elections with accurate, timely results, and I am committed to making that happen. Texans with all political views should have faith in our election system.”
Nelson will take the position at the beginning of the year on January 1, 2022.