Nebraska secretary of state hires new elections deputy

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- A Nebraska county election commissioner will serve as the state's new deputy secretary of state for elections.

Sarpy County Election Commissioner Wayne Bena will replace Neal Erickson, who retired in December 2016 after 22 years with the secretary of state's office. Secretary of State John Gale announced the appointment Wednesday.

Bena will report to Gale, the state's chief elections officer, starting Sept. 1.

Bena has served as Sarpy County election commissioner since 2010. His new role will include managing the secretary of state's elections division and coordinating with 93 county election officials, among other duties.

Bena was appointed Sarpy County election commissioner in 2010 by then-Gov. Dave Heineman and reappointed in 2014. Election commissioners are appointed in counties with more than 100,000 residents. Gov. Pete Ricketts will appoint Bena's replacement.