Governor Ron DeSantis on Wednesday tapped longtime political appointee Peter Antonacci to serve as Director of the Office of Election Crimes and Security, a new state office tasked with investigating all election crimes in Florida.
“Peter Antonacci has dedicated his career to serving the state of Florida,” said DeSantis “I am confident he will lead the Office of Election Crimes and Security with integrity and ensure that Florida’s elections are the most secure in the nation.”
Antonacci has carved out an extensive career in public service. He began as a trial prosecutor in the Second Judicial Court, and most recently served as Director and Chief Judge of the Division of Administrative Hearings. Most notably, Antonacci has held a series of high-profile gigs under former Governor Rick Scott, including general counsel to the governor and Broward County supervisor of elections. His resume also includes stints as Deputy Attorney General of Florida under former Attorney General Bob Butterworth, CEO of Enterprise Florida, General, Palm Beach County State Attorney, and Executive Director of the South Florida Water Management District
He also graduated from Florida State University School of Law.
The Office of Election Crimes and Security was created this past Legislative Session as part of a package (SB 524) aimed at strengthening state election laws. Championed by DeSantis and pushed by Republican lawmakers, the office will have the authority to launch investigations into election law violations.
The Office of Election Crimes and Security is housed in the Florida Department of State and will be under the watch of former state Rep. Cord Byrd, who was recently appointed Florida’s Secretary of State.
“I applaud Governor Ron DeSantis for appointing Peter Antonacci as the first Director of the Office of Election Crimes and Security,” said Florida Secretary of State and Chief Election Officer Cord Byrd. “In Florida, our freedoms and rights are protected by the rule of law and our elections are no different. Judge Antonacci’s formidable knowledge of Florida election law and his experience as a Supervisor of Elections will ensure that our laws are enforced and that voters have confidence in our elections.”
Today’s appointment drew praise from several close to Florida’s election process, including Leon County Supervisor of Election Mark Earley, who touted Antonacci’s knowledge and experience in the field of election law.
“I have had the opportunity to work with Peter as a fellow Supervisor of Elections,” said Earley “I trust he will serve the people of Florida with an even hand to ensure the continued fairness and sanctity of our elections process. Peter understands the complexities of election law, and the need for a reserved and judicious application of the power this new office wields.”