Secretary of State Ruth Hughs announced her resignation effective May 31 after the Senate did not confirm her appointment. Gov. Greg Abbott (R) appointed Hughs, then the chair of the Texas Workforce Commission, in August 2019.
She was the state’s top election official through the 2020 election, succeeding David Whitley, who resigned on the last day of the 2019 legislative session after Democrats blocked his confirmation. Whitley presided over his agency’s effort to flag around 95K registered voters as non-citizens based on comparisons to Dept. of Public Safety data. During his confirmation hearing, then-Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin) said he believed Whitley’s goal was to create an appearance of widespread illegal voting – a charge Whitley denied.
Hughs’s nomination appeared to lack sufficient Republican support after her office approved several Harris Co. voting initiatives since targeted in Republican-led election legislation and her top election deputy called the 2020 election “smooth and secure.” She was not given a hearing from the Nominations Committee.
Abbott will nominate a successor who will not face Senate confirmation until 2023.
GOV: Former Reps. Matt Rinaldi (R-Irving) and Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford) endorsed former Sen. Don Huffines (R-Dallas) over Gov. Greg Abbott (R).
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