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December 15, 2000     (512) 463-0300

Laredo Representative Henry Cuellar Chosen as Next Secretary of State

Lieutenant Governor Rick Perry announced today his first nomination as future governor of Texas, in a press conference at the State Capitol. State Representative Henry Cuellar, a Democrat from Laredo, will serve as Texas' 102nd. Secretary of State during Perry's tenure.

Envisioning a bipartisan gubernatorial administration, Perry, a Democrat turned Republican while serving in the House, said: "My criteria for service to this state will not be a person's party credentials, but their qualifications."

Born in Laredo in 1955, Cuellar is the oldest of nine brothers and sisters. His father was a migrant worker while his mother raised the children. Today, he is one of the most degreed lawmakers in Texas, a practicing attorney, and owner of a customs brokerage business in Laredo. Elected to the Texas House of Representatives for every term since 1986, he has been a strong advocate for residents of the colonias along the border, and LtGov. Perry says he wants him "to continue that advocacy as Secretary of State." Cuellar's new functions will be those of chief election officer, and senior advisor and liaison to the governor for border and Mexican affairs.

Austin attorney Geoffrey S. "Geoff" Connor was named Assistant Secretary of State. Connor is currently senior counsel in the energy section of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hayer & Feld, L.L.P.