Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has announced that the retiring state Senator Jane Nelson will become the next Secretary of State.
On Monday, current Texas Secretary of State John Scott submitted his letter of resignation to Gov. Abbott.
In the letter, Scott said it was his “singular goal and mission” to protect the security of the state’s ballot boxes and “restore voter confidence” since taking office in October last year. However, Scott is leaving the office on December 31 to return to his private law practice.
In response, Abbott thanked Scott for his “tireless work” and announced he will appoint Nelson (R-Flower Mound) to replace Scott.
Nelson, a former teacher, has served as the Texas District 12 Senator since 1993, climbing the ladder to become the highest-ranking Republican woman in the Senate. She carries a hefty resume from her time as senator, such as championing over $8 billion in tax relief and founding the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. She is the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, the first woman in Texas legislative history to occupy the role.
After 30 years, Nelson decided to retire from the Senate, not seeking reelection in 2022. She accepted Abbott’s nomination on Tuesday, December 6.
“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,” Nelson stated. “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,” she tweeted.
As election integrity continues to be a highly divisive topic statewide and nationwide, Abbott’s selection could be the first to be confirmed by the Senate after the three most recent nominees have been rejected.
Secretary of State John Scott had reportedly received numerous death threats over the past year, apparently resulting from his attempts to convince voters that there had not been widespread fraud in the 2020 election and that the state’s elections were secure.
The possibility of Nelson’s confirmation by the Senate is strengthened by her status in the Senate’s Republican Caucus. “There is simply no one that the Texas Senate knows better than @SenJaneNelson, & she brings with her a vast understanding of State Gov as @TXsecofstate,” tweeted fellow Senate member Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston).
With midterms already passed, Nelson’s first major test if confirmed as secretary of state will likely be the 2024 presidential election.