Governor Abbott Finally Selects Replacement For Secretary of State Vacancy

Paul Ardly 
Texas Take News

Austin—After the state’s chief election officer left his post following a controversial review of the state’s voter rolls, Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday appointed Ruth Ruggero Hughs to be the new Secretary of State. 

Mrs. Ruggero Hughs was most recently in service at the Texas Workforce Commission, which she has served as chaired since August 2018. She joins the secretary of state’s office nearly three months after Democratic senators blocked the confirmation of her predecessor, Alice, Texas native David Whitley, who questioned the voter registration of thousands of naturalized citizens. 

The disgraced Whitley resigned on May 27, lacking enough votes in the Texas Senate to keep the job after he oversaw an effort to scour the voter rolls for supposed noncitizens. The review instead threatened the voting rights of tens of thousands of voters of color, landed the state in federal court and prompted a congressional inquiry into voting rights violations.

The review, through which counties were advised to verify the citizenship status of supposed noncitizens, was eventually scrapped to end the litigation. By then, it was discovered that naturalized citizens have been swept up in review because of faulty data the state used.

As far as Ruggero Hughes, she is a graduate of the University of Texas, got her law degree from Rutgers University in New Jersey in 1995 and was licensed to practice law in Texas in 2003.

Whitley now serves as a special adviser to Governor Abbott. 

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