AUSTIN — The second-in-command at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission has decided to retire, continuing a year of change at the state’s biggest bureaucracy. Chris Traylor plans to step down May 31, the agency announced in a newletter for providers. No replacement has been chosen. The 52-year-old Lubbock native, who cut his teeth in the office of former U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm, has worked in Texas health services since 1997. He was named chief deputy commissioner by then-Gov. Rick Perry in 2012, following three-year stints atop the Medicaid division and the department of aging and disability services. Since then, he has been a close partner of Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek, who was appointed to his job at the same time as Traylor and had previous no experience in the agency. The chief deputy made $235,000 per year — only a little less than Janek — and was seen by many employees as the true source of power in some areas.
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