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Opposition mounts against Abbott’s secretary of state

Friday, February 22, 2019

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A key Texas Democrat says he won’t back Gov. Greg Abbott’s embattled choice for secretary of state, whose job is in peril over an inaccurate list of 95,000 voters flagged as possible non-U.S. citizens.

Sen. Jose Rodriguez chairs the Democratic caucus in the chamber. He said Thursday “the damage has been done” and won’t vote to confirm newly appointed Secretary of State David Whitley.

Whitley’s job is in jeopardy over his office giving election fraud prosecutors a flawed list of voters that included U.S. citizens. Civil rights groups have assailed the effort as attempted voter suppression and have sued Texas in federal court.

Rodriguez’s opposition is significant because Whitley likely needs Democratic votes for Senate confirmation.

Whitley apologized last week , saying more time should have been spent vetting the list.