Nandita Berry named Secretary of State

Forgive me for the tardiness, I had a very busy day traveling yesterday, and despite there being Wifi on the airplane, it rarely works well enough to pen an entire post and link it to social media outlets. But without further ado, I have officially left Boston. I will  be hanging out in Houston for about three weeks for the holiday, and then will officially make the trip up to the State Capital.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Nandita Berry, a University of Houston Regent, has been appointed by Governor Perry to become the next Texas Secretary of State. Berry will succeed John Steen, an attorney who has decided to return to private practice after serving for roughly one year. Berry, who is also an attorney, is perhaps best known as the wife of former Houston City Councilmember and radio shock-jock Michael Berry.

“I am truly humbled to follow in the footsteps of Stephen F. Austin, Texas’ first secretary of state. Like him, I came to Texas in search of a better life and the limitless opportunities to be found across our great state,” Berry said after being appointed. Given the high profile of state’s new Voter ID Law, the Secretary of State might find greater coverage in the press as the lead-up continues towards next year’s elections.

The Secretary of State serves many of the same functions at the State level that County & District Clerks serve at the County level. Looking over the elections process, as well as managing most filings affiliated with the State of Texas, remain the chief duties of the office. It also serves as the Chief Liaison of the Governor to Mexico, and on international affairs.

For what it is worth, Nandita Berry is Indian-American, so Perry has received a few gold stars for the alleged focus on diversity. She is also an accomplished attorney, working for the (admittedly right-wing) law firm of Locke Lord. She has also served for a few years as a regent on the University of Houston Board of Regents.

Her husband has received a good amount of the press over her appointment, which is somewhat misplaced. I have little doubt that Mrs Berry has very similar political views as her husband, but let us find some actual evidence of that in office before jumping to conclusions. It demeans us all to assume otherwise.

Brains & Eggs has more.

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