- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - New Gov. Greg Abbott has submitted his first three appointments to the Texas Senate for approval.

Abbott on Wednesday asked the Republican-controlled chamber to OK Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos as secretary of state.

He also sought approval of David Mattax as commissioner of the Department of Insurance, and Jerry Strickland as head of the Office of State and Federal Relations.

Abbott announced all three appointments while still governor-elect, making his requests a formality.

Cascos is a Hispanic Republican who Abbott made a point of tapping as his first nominee.

Mattax was a deputy attorney general who took the lead defending Republican-drawn Texas voting maps in federal court. Abbott’s successor, Gov. Rick Perry, already appointed him insurance commissioner for a term ending Feb. 1.

Strickland is a former Abbott spokesman.

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