Abbott names new election chief after voter citizenship flub

Abbott names new election chief after voter citizenship flub
In this Feb. 5, 2019, file photo, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott gives his State of the State Address in the House Chamber in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File) (Source: Associated Press)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed a new secretary of state after his previous elections chief resigned amid backlash for wrongly questioning the U.S. citizenship of nearly 100,000 voters.

The Republican governor on Monday announced that he appointed Ruth Ruggero Hughs to serve as Texas' new secretary of state. Hughs has served as the chair for the Texas Workforce Commission since last year.

Democrats blocked a vote on former Secretary of State David Whitley after his office used flawed data in a bungled scouring of voter rolls. President Donald Trump used the information Whitley's office provided to renew his unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud.

Republicans never forced a vote on Whitley, sidestepping partisan battles ahead of a potential fight for their GOP majority in 2020.