David Whitley was named the next secretary of state by Gov. Greg Abbott. Credit: Courtesy / Gov. Greg Abbott via Twitter

A high-ranking aide to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott is poised to become Texas’ newest top election official.

Abbott on Monday appointed David Whitley, who served most recently as the governor’s deputy chief of staff, as the next secretary of state. Whitley replaces outgoing Secretary of State Rolando Pablos, who stepped down Dec. 15 after nearly two years in the position.

“David has been an invaluable member of my administration for over a decade, both in my time as attorney general and during the entirety of my first term as governor,” Abbott said in a statement. “I am confident that in his new role as secretary of state, David will continue to safeguard the integrity of our elections and maintain Texas’ standing on the international stage.”

Whitley will need to be confirmed for the position by the Texas Senate. The secretary of state is Texas’ chief elections officer, assisting county election officials and working to uniformly apply election laws across Texas.

Whitley began working for then-Attorney General Abbott in 2004. Whitley holds finance and law degrees from the University of Texas at Austin, according to Abbott’s statement.

Carlos Anchondo

Carlos Anchondo is the water fellow at The Texas Tribune. He is a second-year master’s candidate in the journalism program at The University of Texas at Austin, where he also serves as a teaching assistant....