Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is trying to make Texas into a pro-Trump utopia.
Abbott on Thursday appointed a new secretary of state — an attorney who once represented former President Donald Trump in a failed legal challenge seeking to overturn Pennsylvania’s 2020 election results. The appointee, John Scott, previously served as Texas’ deputy attorney general when Abbott was the state’s attorney general.
Abbott's appointment of Scott as secretary of state places unmatched authority over Texas' elections in the hands of a Trump loyalist who has endorsed the former president’s baseless lies about election fraud. Scott and Texas attorney Bryan Hughes, a Republican state senator, both signed on to support Trump’s lawsuit in Pennsylvania in November, and both withdrew from the case days after joining. As Abbott’s deputy attorney general in 2014, Scott defended a voter identification law that was found to be discriminatory by both a district and federal court.
In a statement released Thursday, Abbott said, "John understands the importance of protecting the integrity of our elections and building the Texas brand on an international stage."
Reading the tea leaves, it’s easy to see the “brand” Abbott wants his new secretary of state to help establish for Texas is an undemocratic one.
Scott’s appointment came just weeks after Texas opened investigations into its 2020 election results at Trump’s request. In a letter calling for the investigations last month, Trump told Abbott, “Texas needs you to act now.”
“You know your fellow Texans have big questions about the November 2020 Election,” Trump wrote. (Trump beat Joe Biden in Texas by more than 600,000 votes.)
The Republican-led Texas Legislature is also doing its part to remake the state in Trump’s image. A new redistricting map proposed by the Legislature reduces the number of majority-Black and -brown districts in Texas, despite the fact that people of color fueled Texas’ population growth in recent years. Instead, Republicans in Texas used that population growth to redraw districts that are more favorable to white, Trump-supporting voters and lawmakers. The new map is being challenged in court.
Nonetheless, Abbott’s mission of making Texas into a fail-proof state for Trump and pro-Trump conservatives is well underway.
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