Nelson served in the Senate for 30 years before deciding not to run for re-election in 2022. However, she was nominated for the state secretary position by Gov. Greg Abbott in December.
“I will work to safeguard honest and accurate elections in all 254 counties across our great state, while continuing to support business owners by ensuring that government moves at the speed of Texas business, not the other way around,” Nelson said in an official statement. “I also look forward to strengthening relationships with all of our international partners and telling the great story of Texas’ economic prosperity to the world.”
Nelson succeeds John Scott, who was appointed in 2021. Scott said in December that he would step down at the end of the year to return to private practice.
Nelson's career includes becoming the longest-serving Republican woman in the Senate as well as the first woman to lead the Senate Finance Committee. She was elected to Senate in 1992 after serving on the Texas State Board of Education.
In one of her first moves as secretary of state, Nelson said last week her office would be creating an interstate voter registration cross check program for Texas.
"You can count on me to safeguard our elections, enhance transparency, and help continue the work of enhancing Texas' position on the global stage," Nelson said on Twitter in January.