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AUSTIN (AP) – Gov. Greg Abbott has selected one of his longtime aides to take over the state’s massive health agency.

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Abbott announced Tuesday that Charles Smith will be the next executive commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Smith was a top deputy under Abbott in the attorney general’s office before Abbott became governor in 2015.

Smith will try stabilizing a 60,000-person commission beset in recent years by a contracting scandal and a federal judge ordering an overhaul to the state’s embattled foster care system.

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Abbott has already picked two health commissioners in only 16 months in office. He first selected Chris Traylor last year in the wake of a $110 million no-bid contracting scandal that led to the resignation of top officials.

Traylor is retiring. Smith will start in June.

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