New Texas Secretary of State Jane Nelson takes office

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas has a new “chief voter.” Secretary of State Jane Nelson was sworn in Saturday.

The former state senator previously spent three decades in the Senate and has served as chair of the Senate Finance Committee since 2014. She previously served two terms on the State Board of Education.

Governor Greg Abbott formally nominated Nelson to the position earlier this week. She is the 115th Secretary of State.

“I am thrilled to begin a new chapter in my public service career,” Nelson said in a statement. “I want to thank my family for their tremendous support, Governor Abbott for his faith in me, and the many Texans who have inspired me to work on their behalf for so many years.”

John Scott resigned in December, saying he would return to his private law practice. Scott took over in October 2021 after Ruth Hughes stepped down earlier that year.

Nelson will open the 88th Texas Legislative Session next week and will preside over the election for the speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, the press release said. Nelson will be the first Texas to oversee the opening of both houses of the Texas Legislature.

According to the office’s website, the Secretary of State is “the chief election officer in Texas.” They assist district election officials and ensure uniform application and interpretation of election laws.

The role is appointed by the Governor of Texas and confirmed by the State Senate.

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