KETR

Hall Sticks Up for Embattled Texas Secretary of State Nominee

Feb 8, 2019

State Sen. Bob Hall (R-2) speaks to David Whitley during Thursday's confirmation hearings.
Credit Texas Tribune SCreen Cap

It hasn’t been exactly smooth sailing for Gov. Greg Abbott’s pick to be Texas Secretary of State. But State Sen. Bob Hall is at least on his side.

Hall, a Republican representing District 2, was part of a chorus of state GOP lawmakers standing by Secretary of State pick David Whitley during his confirmation hearings this week. 

Whitley is under fire for his role in a state-issued claim of massive voter fraud in Texas. Whitley admitted to never having reviewed the list that accuses 95,000 Texans of being improperly registered to vote – a list that came under immediate fire and cause the state’s Republican leadership to walk back its assertions.

Earlier this week, Hall implored his fellow nomination committee members at the State House not to blame Whitley for the list – mainly because Whitley was not in the Secretary of State’s office while data for the list was being drawn up.

"There’s nothing that can be done to fix things in the past that were done by others before you got there," Hall told Whitley.

Hall said going through the fallout of what information the Secretary of State’s office puts out needed to happen in order to learn how to do it right.

Whitley needs a two-thirds majority in the State Senate on his side in order to keep the job. Republicans hold an 18-12 majority in the State Senate, though, which means Whitley needs support from some Democrats -- who've grilled him about his role in releasing the list.

On Friday, State Attorney General Ken Paxton sent a letter to lawmakers, saying he’s not going to act on that list just yet.