Perry Names New Secretary of State

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AUSTIN, Texas -- Governor Rick Perry Thursday named top aide Phil Wilson to succeed Roger Williams as Texas secretary of state.

A statement issued by Perry's office says his 39-year-old deputy chief of staff will take office July First. As Perry's deputy chief of staff, Wilson worked on economic development for the governor's office.

As secretary of state, he'll be the state's top elections officer and oversee business and public filings. He'll also serve as the governor's chief liaison for border affairs and oversees international protocol for the state.

The Austin American-Statesman first reported the pending appointment. State Senator Kirk Watson, an Austin Democrat, told the newspaper that he had no objection to the appointment. Watson reviewed the choice at Perry's request because Wilson lives in Watson's Travis County district.

Watson said Wilson assured him yesterday that, as the state's top election official, he wouldn't take a position on the GOP-favored idea of asking voters for photo ID or other proof of identity before voting.