Political People and their Moves

The Health and Human Services Commission announced a handful of changes in its leadership team last Friday. Enrique Marquez, HHSC's current director of communications, will serve as director of external relations; Karin Hill as director of internal audit; Chris Adams as deputy executive commissioner for system support services; David Kostroun as deputy executive commissioner for policy and performance; and Bryan Black as director of communications.

State Rep. Helen Giddings, a Dallas Democrat, has been elected to serve as chair of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus during the 85th Legislative session. The remaining officers chosen to lead the caucus next session are: Nicole Collier (1st vice chair), Eric Johnson (2nd vice chair), Toni Rose (secretary), Alma Allen (treasurer), Joe Deshotel (parliamentarian) and Harold Dutton (general counsel).

The Houston law firm of Beirne, Maynard & Parsons is shutting its doors with many of its attorneys migrating to Akerman, a Florida-based firm that is launching a major expansion of operations in Texas. Among those moving to Akerman are former state Rep. Joe Nixon and Trey Trainor, who have represented several prominent conservative politicians and activists in some high-profile election and redistricting cases.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been announced as a keynote speaker at next week’s American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Annual Meeting alongside newly minted vice presidential selection Mike Pence. ALEC is an annual gathering of state legislators and business leaders aimed at sharing model legislation that pushes free market and limited government positions. Many Texas legislators attend the gathering, which is being held this year in Indianapolis, Indiana, on July 27-29.

Deaths: Jim Nugent, 94, Democratic lawmaker who served Kerrville in the Texas House from 1961 to 1979. He resigned his seat after being elected to the Railroad Commission, a position he held until 1995 after he was narrowly defeated for re-election by the Republican Charles R. Matthews. A graveside service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin.