AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas has a new “chief election officer.” Secretary of State Jane Nelson was sworn into the role Saturday.

The former state senator previously spent three decades in the Senate and served as chair of the Senate Finance Committee since 2014. She previously was on the State Board of Education for two terms.

Gov. Greg Abbott formally appointed Nelson to the job earlier this week. She is the 115th secretary of state.

“I’m very excited to begin this next chapter in my career of public service,” Nelson said in a statement. “I want to thank my family for their tremendous support, Governor Abbott for his faith in me, and the many Texans who have inspired me to work on their behalf for so many years.”

John Scott resigned from the role in December saying he would return to his private legal practice. Scott took office in October 2021 after Ruth Hughs resigned earlier that year.

Nelson will open the 88th Texas Legislative Session next week and preside over the election for speaker of the Texas House, a news release said. Nelson will be the first Texas to oversee the opening of both Texas Legislature chambers.

The secretary of state is the “chief election officer for Texas,” according to the office’s website. They assist county election officials and ensure the uniform application and interpretation of election laws.

The role is appointed by Texas’ governor and confirmed by the state Senate.