State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, will be the next Texas Secretary of State, according to an announcement Tuesday from Gov. Greg Abbott.
“I look forward to this new chapter of public service and appreciate the confidence Gov. Abbott has placed in me to serve as Secretary of State,” Nelson said. “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.”
Nelson is a businesswoman and former teacher who was elected to the Texas Senate in 1992 after serving two terms on the State Board of Education. She has served in the Texas Senate for 30 years, longer than any other Republican. She was chair of the Senate Health Committee longer than anyone in history before becoming the first woman of either party to be named chair of the powerful Senate Finance Committee in 2014. In 2019 she was the first woman to preside over opening day of the Texas Senate. Nelson announced a couple years ago that she would not seek reelection, but her future plans were not revealed until Tuesday. Longtime State Rep. Tan Parker, R-Flower Mound, was elected to succeed Nelson in Senate District 12.
In addition to writing four balanced state budgets, Nelson has a long list of accomplishments that includes 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. She has a 100% voting record in support of small businesses.
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 of State serves as the state’s Chief Election Officer; provides a repository for official, business and commercial records; publishes rules and regulations; and commissions notaries public. 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.