Secretary of State John Scott announced his resignation in a Dec. 5 news release. After over a year in the role, Scott said he will step down Dec. 31 and return to his private legal practice in 2023.
Scott was appointed interim secretary of state by Gov. Greg Abbott in October 2021. Because Scott took office between Texas’ regular legislative sessions, which occur every two years, his permanent appointment would have been considered by the Texas Senate in 2023.
Scott replaced former Secretary of State Ruth Hughs. She also served in an interim role but resigned in May 2021 after lawmakers declined to consider her for the permanent position, according to The Texas Tribune.
As the state’s top election official, Scott oversaw Texas’ 2022 primary and midterm elections. He also led an audit of the 2020 elections in Collin, Dallas, Harris and Tarrant counties.
The secretary of state’s office shared a progress report from the first phase of the audit in December 2021. Scott said the full results of the audit will be released by Dec. 31.
“When I took office as Texas secretary of state in October of last year, I did so with a singular goal and mission in mind: to help restore Texas voters' confidence in the security of our state's elections,” Scott said in a resignation letter sent to Abbott.
The secretary of state supervises elections and maintains over 16 million voter registration records. According to the secretary of state’s website, the office is responsible for managing records about Texas’ corporations, financial filings and more.
The office also handles international affairs, including Texas’ relations with Mexico and other foreign countries.
Scott previously served as deputy attorney general under then-Attorney General Abbott. He was also chief operating officer of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission for nine months, according to LinkedIn.
The governor’s office has not announced any potential candidates to fill the position.