San Antonian named Texas Secretary of State
By John W. Gonzalez
San Antonio attorney John T. Steen Jr. has been tapped as the 108th Texas Secretary of State.
For the past four years, Steen was a member of the Texas Public Safety Commission and previously was an appointee to other state entities.
In his new position, first held by Stephen F. Austin, Steen will be the state’s chief election officer. He’ll also represent Perry in Mexican, border and international matters while overseeing business and other records.
Steen said in a statement he’s honored to continue serving the state, and, “I look forward to promoting the Texas success story to create more economic opportunities for our citizens and continuing to work with our neighbor, Mexico, toward a prosperous future.”
Occupation: Attorney since 1974
Education: Bachelor’s degree, Princeton University; law degree, University of Texas School of Law
Previous service: Texas Public Safety Commission, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, Texas Commission on Economic Efficiency in State Government.
Local: Fellow, San Antonio Bar Foundation; vice chairman, UTSA Development Board; past president, Fiesta San Antonio Commission and World Affairs Council of San Antonio
Sources: Office of Gov. Rick Perry, State Bar of Texas
Andrade ventured to Mexico and other nations as a Texas business emissary. She resigned last week after four years in the office, a tenure that ended amid controversy over efforts to purge voter roles before the Nov. 6 election.
Steen said “as chief elections officer, I will make it my highest priority to preserve the integrity of our elections and ensure they are fair, accessible and secure.”
Perry described Steen as “uniquely qualified,” with “strong business background and dedication to public service.”
“His leadership over our state’s election process, economic development efforts and international relations will be an integral part of Texas’ goal to expand economic prosperity and opportunity for all Texas,” Perry’s statement said.
A past president of the San Antonio Fiesta Commission, Steen also is past chairman of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and once served on the Texas Commission on Economy and Efficiency in State Government. His appointment to the Public Safety Commission extended through 2018.
“We are grateful for Commissioner Steen’s dedicated service on the Texas Public Safety Commission for the last four years. His commitment to supporting the department’s mission and goals has been invaluable, and we wish him well in his new role as the Texas Secretary of State,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw.
A longtime GOP supporter, Steen has contributed to the campaigns of Perry and several other Republican statewide officials.