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Longtime state senator named Texas' new top election official

The Texas Capitol building in downtown Austin.
Gabriel C. Pérez

Longtime State Senator Jane Nelson was nominated to serve as the Texas Secretary of State by Gov. Greg Abbott Tuesday.

Nelson, R-Flower Mound, will take the helm following Monday’s resignation by current secretary John Scott. Scott, who was appointed to the post in late 2021, told Abbott he will return to his private law practice after the holidays.

Nelson is a 30-year veteran of the Texas legislature who most recently served as the chair of the upper chamber’s finance committee, which writes the state’s biennial budget.

“I appreciate the confidence @GregAbbott_TX has placed in me to serve as @TXsecofstate,” Nelson tweeted. “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."

In his announcement, Abbott praised Nelson’s experience and leadership.

“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,” he said. “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.”

Prior to her election to the state senate, Nelson served on the State Board of Education.

During his short tenure, Scott oversaw an audit of the 2020 elections in Collin, Dallas, Harris and Tarrant counties that Abbott requested. Results of the first phase of the audit were released a year ago and found no evidence of widespread fraud, the Texas Tribune reported. Scott said in his letter the final results will be released “soon” but did not specify a date.

Got a tip? Email Julián Aguilar at can follow Julián on Twitter @nachoaguilar

Copyright 2022 KERA. To see more, visit KERA.

Julián Aguilar is a digital breaking news reporter and producer for The Texas Newsroom.
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