Hughs has served as chair of the Texas Workforce Commission and was appointed by Abbott to that position in August of 2018. Of the three commissioners on the board, Hughs was charged with representing the employers in the state.
“Ruth is a proven leader who has done a tremendous job as both a commissioner and the Chair of the Texas Workforce Commission,” said Governor Abbott of his appointee in a press release.
Abbott continued, saying Hughs “has built strong relationships with the business community throughout Texas and has helped lead the way in developing the best workforce in the nation. I am proud to appoint Ruth as Secretary of State and I am confident that her experience at the Texas Workforce Commission will translate into success in this new role.”
Hughs’s appointment comes after former Secretary of State David Whitely resigned following his failure to be confirmed by the Texas State Senate during the legislative session.
Whitley, a former staffer for Abbott, came under fire after his office released a list of just under 100,000 names on the voter roll that were flagged as potential non-citizens. It was later found that over a quarter of those names listed were listed in error.
The blame for the botched list, compiled using old Department of Public Safety records, was laid at the feet of DPS by state leaders like Abbott and Speaker of the House Dennis Bonnen. Regardless, voter rights groups were quick to decry Whitley’s nomination, and Whitley resigned after he did not receive the necessary support in the Texas Senate.
Hughs, a member of the State Bar of Texas, was first appointed to the Texas Workforce Commission in 2015.
The Texas Senate will decide whether to confirm her nomination as secretary of state during the 2021 legislative session.
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McKenzie Taylor serves as Senior Editor and resident plate-spinner for The Texan. Previously, she worked as State Representative Kyle Biedermann’s Capitol Director during the 85th legislative session before moving to Fort Worth to manage Senator Konni Burton’s campaign. In her free time, you might find her enjoying dog memes, staring at mountains, or proctoring personality tests.