In politics, it never hurts if a candidate for office -- appointed or elected -- has a really good background story to tell the public at large. And that certainly is the case for Locke Lord senior counsel Nandita Berry (pictured) whom Gov. Rick Perry appointed as Texas Secretary of State on Dec. 19. When she leaves the firm and assumes the job as the state’s chief elections officer on Jan. 7, Berry will become 109th person to hold that post and the first Indian-American to have the job.
“Nandita Berry personifies what is possible through hard work and dedication in the State of Texas,” Perry said in a prepared statement. “Arriving from India at the age of 21 with nothing but $200 to her name, she worked diligently to earn her law degree and has since become one of the most accomplished attorneys in the state. Her work ethic, intelligence and wide array of experiences will serve her capably in her new duties as Secretary of State, and I look forward to working with her to keep Texas the best place in the country to live, work and raise a family.”
Berry, whose practice has focused on technology transactions, did not return a call for comment. In a statement, Berry says she’s glad to have a job once held by Texas hero Stephen F. Austin, the Lone Star State’s first secretary of state.
“Like him, I came to Texas in search of a better life and the limitless opportunities to be found across our great state. Every day, I see Austin’s pioneering spirit alive in Texas, and this great honor proves once again Texas is the land of opportunity, both in the private sector and public service.”
Berry will replace John Steen who held the job for a year. One of the more exciting legal aspects of the job that Berry can look forward to -- as Steen can attest -- is her name will now be proximately featured in federal complaints every time Texas gets sued in federal court over voting rights disputes.
--- John Council