AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott accepted the resignation of Texas Secretary of State John Scott Tuesday and announced his intent to appoint Senator Jane Nelson to fill the role as the 115th Secretary of State for Texas. Scott has served as Secretary of State since October 2021 with the mission of helping restore Texans’ confidence in the security of our state’s elections. Senator Nelson did not run for re-election after serving 30 years in the Texas Senate, including serving as Chair of the Senate Finance Committee since 2014.
“Ensuring confidence in our elections and building the Texas brand on the international stage are crucial for the continued growth and success of our great state,” said Governor Abbott. “I thank Secretary Scott for his tireless work educating Texas voters how they can participate in the electoral process and safeguarding the integrity of our state’s elections. 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. 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.”
Senator Jane Nelson is a businesswoman and former teacher who was first elected to the Texas Senate in 1992 after serving two terms on the State Board of Education. She was Chair of the Senate Health Committee longer than anyone in history before becoming the first woman to be Chair of the Senate Finance Committee. In addition to writing four balanced state budgets, Senator Nelson has a long list of accomplishments that include establishing the Cancer Research & Prevention Institute of Texas, reforming medical liability, achieving tax relief, overhauling the foster care system, expanding access to mental health care, and passing over 30 bills to protect victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. Her work has been recognized with dozens of awards, including from the American Medical Association, American Cancer Society, Texas Association of Business, Texas Council on Family Violence, CASA, Texas Hospital Association, Big Brothers & Big Sisters, Texas PTA, Texas Retired Teachers Association, the Women’s Health Coalition, and many others. Senator Nelson and her husband, J. Michael Nelson, owned and operated an aircraft component manufacturing company in Denton County. They have five children and 12 grandchildren.
The Secretary serves as Chief Election Officer for Texas, assisting county election officials and ensuring the uniform application and interpretation of election laws throughout Texas. The Office of the Secretary of State also provides a repository for official business and commercial records required to be filed with the Office. The Secretary publishes government rules and regulations and commissions notaries public. The Secretary also serves as keeper of the state seal and attestor to the Governor's signature on official documents.
In addition, the Secretary serves as senior advisor and liaison to the Governor for Texas Border and Mexican Affairs and serves as Chief International Protocol Officer for Texas.