AUSTIN (CSBDFW.COM/AP) — Gov. Greg Abbott has named his deputy chief of staff Texas’ new secretary of state.

David Whitley replaces Rolando Pablos, who announced earlier this month that he was resigning after two years in the office.

In a statement Monday, Abbott’s office said Whitley has worked for Abbott in various capacities since 2004.

He had previously served as the governor’s appointment’s director and was assistant deputy attorney general while Abbott was attorney general, before being elected governor in 2014.

Abbott praised Whitley as having “a keen understanding of the election process.” He added that he is confident Whitley “will continue to safeguard the integrity of our elections.”

Earlier this month, Abbott proclaimed Wednesday, Dec. 5, as a day of mourning for former President George H.W. Bush. Under the proclamation, he said Texans are encouraged to use it as a day to come together publicly and pay their respects to the former president at businesses, schools and more.

State agencies, offices and departments were closed to observe the day of mourning.