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Former prosecutor Peter Antonacci to lead new election crimes office

Peter Antonacci has held various public service roles, including former deputy attorney general, county elections supervisor and director of the Division of Administrative Hearings. (Florida Division Of Administrative Hearings/ Flaadminlaw.Org)
Talia Blake
Peter Antonacci has held various public service roles, including former deputy attorney general, county elections supervisor and director of the Division of Administrative Hearings. (Florida Division Of Administrative Hearings/ Flaadminlaw.Org)

Gov. Ron DeSantis has chosen a former prosecutor and county elections supervisor to lead a new statewide office created to investigate voter fraud and implement elections security measures.

DeSantis announced on Wednesday that he's appointed Peter Antonacci to lead the state's new Office of Election Crimes and Security.

Antonacci has a decades-long career in public service. He's served as a statewide prosecutor under both Republican and Democratic administrations.

In 2018, Antonacci was appointed by former Gov. Rick Scott to serve as the Broward County Supervisor of Elections after Scott removed the county’s former elections supervisor from office.

Reaction from Democrats has been mixed. In a statement, state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who's also a Democratic gubernatorial primary candidate, described the appointment as “purely political.”

Leon County Supervisor of Elections Mark Earley, who's also a Democrat, expressed confidence that Antonacci will lead with an "even hand."

“I have had the opportunity to work with Peter as a fellow Supervisor of Elections,” Earley said in a press release. "Peter understands the complexities of election law, and the need for a reserved and judicious application of the power this new office wields.”