Embattled Texas Elections Chief David Whitley Could Be Out of a Job Today

At the end of the last day of the legislative session Monday, interim Secretary of State David Whitley could be out of a job.Whitley, a former top aide to Gov. Greg Abbott, was appointed to the position in December after the previous secretary of state, Rolando Pablos, resigned. But he needed to be confirmed by the Senate before the end of the session, and what's usually a perfunctory vote became a flash point after his office issued a flawed advisory in late January questioning the citizenship of nearly 100,000 Texas voters.Facing steep pressure from voting rights advocates, all 12 Senate Democrats had said they could not vote to confirm Whitley because of the botched investigation. His confirmation requires the support of two-thirds of senators, or 21 of them if all 31 are present.The Senate has 19 Republicans who would probably support the governor’s nominee, but without any Democrats crossing over, confirmation is mathematically impossible. Abbott would then need to nominate a replacement who could serve through 2021, when the next Legislature convenes and that person could face a confirmation vote.But at a Memorial Day news conference Monday, Abbott didn’t declare the nomination dead, according to the Texas Tribune."We'll need to wait and see how today turns out," Abbott told reporters.  Continue reading...

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