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Abbott says he will nominate retiring state Sen. Jane Nelson to be secretary of state

JANE NELSON

Gov. Greg Abbott stated Tuesday he’ll nominate retiring state Sen. Jane Nelson to be secretary of state.

You are reading: Abbott says he will nominate retiring state Sen. Jane Nelson to be secretary of state




Gov. Greg Abbott stated Tuesday he’ll nominate retiring state Sen. Jane Nelson to be secretary of state. The announcement comes someday after John Scott stated he would step down from the position on the finish of the yr.

Nelson, R-Flower Mound, is retiring from the Senate this yr after 30 years within the Legislature. Her nomination to be the state’s prime elections official will give Abbott a robust candidate for Senate approval after his final three nominees relationship to 2018 have didn’t be confirmed.

“I stay up for this new chapter of public service and respect the boldness Governor Abbott has positioned in me to function Secretary of State,” Nelson stated in a press release. “Voters count on honest elections with correct, well timed outcomes, and I’m dedicated to creating that occur. Texans with all political opinions ought to think about our election system.”

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In his assertion, Abbott thanked Scott for his “tireless work educating Texas voters how they’ll take part within the electoral course of and safeguarding the integrity of our state’s elections” earlier than turning to Nelson’s robust resume for the job.

“Senator Nelson’s lifelong dedication to public service and deep understanding of state authorities might be belongings in her new position guaranteeing the crucial duties of Secretary of State are fulfilled,” Abbott stated. “Nothing is extra necessary to a free society than honest elections, and the State of Texas will proceed working to uphold and shield this proper.”

Nelson will step into the position at a troublesome time for elections officers throughout the nation. Vocal supporters of former President Donald Trump who falsely declare there was widespread voter fraud within the 2020 presidential election have focused elections staff, subjecting them harassment and even threats. Scott, who briefly represented Trump in a lawsuit to overturn the 2020 election leads to Pennsylvania, was among the many election officers who obtained dying threats over the previous yr for his efforts to persuade voters that no widespread fraud occurred and that the state’s elections had been protected and safe.

After stress from Trump in 2021, Texas undertook election audits of 4 of the state’s largest counties. The primary section of that audit was launched on New 12 months’s Eve 2021, and the complete report of the audit might be launched earlier than Scott’s departure.

Nelson’s nomination brings a longtime veteran of state politics to the position. She is the longest-serving Republican within the Texas Senate and has handed payments on modifications to medical legal responsibility, property taxes, the state’s long-troubled foster care system, psychological well being care, home violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. She additionally was the primary girl to steer the highly effective Senate Finance Committee, which writes the state price range, and handed laws to create the Most cancers Prevention and Analysis Institute of Texas.

Lately, Nelson’s time on the Legislature has been targeted on the state price range, and she or he has not been as concerned in elections laws. Like the remainder of her Senate Republican colleagues, she voted in favor of a sweeping elections invoice final session that tightened election legal guidelines within the state and that Democrats decried as voter suppression. The laws banned applications that expanded entry to voting like 24-hour voting and drive-thru voting and put limits on the variety of hours counties might maintain polls open.

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Her workplace didn’t instantly reply to an interview request about her nomination.

Nelson’s nomination is a strategic political transfer by Abbott, who has seen a revolving door of elections officers who had been unable to get by way of the affirmation course of.

Scott didn’t should endure the Senate’s affirmation course of as a result of he’s resigning earlier than the Legislature’s biennial session to return to personal apply. However Abbott’s final two nominees earlier than him, David Whitley and Ruth Ruggero Hughs, held out for many of their respective legislative classes ready for confirmations that didn’t come.

Whitley was derailed by Democrats’ opposition to him due to his supervision of an try to purge the voter rolls of 100,000 voters, a lot of whom had Hispanic surnames and had beforehand not been U.S. residents however subsequently turned naturalized. Hughs’ affirmation course of flew underneath the radar, however activists who’ve forged doubt on the integrity of elections with out proof opposed her affirmation as a result of her workplace had claimed the 2020 elections had been “easy and safe.” She resigned earlier than ever going through a listening to.

Nelson’s standing within the Senate’s Republican Caucus and her proximity to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who leads the chamber, make her affirmation extra possible. And since Scott has pledged to launch the outcomes of the audit underneath his tenure, any lingering points with that assessment won’t fall on Nelson.

State Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, praised her effusively on social media after Abbott’s announcement.

“After a fabled 30 yr profession within the Texas Senate, @GovAbbott appoints Senator Jane Nelson as the brand new Texas Secretary of State. There’s merely nobody that the Texas Senate is aware of higher than @SenJaneNelson, & she brings together with her an enormous understanding of State Gov as @TXsecofstate,” he wrote.

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