Pete Antonacci, the former general counsel to outgoing Republican Gov. Rick Scott, was sworn in as elections chief in Florida’s most liberal county Thursday, beginning a shotgun marriage with Broward Democrats that could prove crucial during the 2020 presidential elections.
Picked by Scott to replace suspended elections supervisor Brenda Snipes, Antonacci referred to himself as a “caretaker” following a ceremony in Fort Lauderdale inside the 15th floor courtroom of Chief Judge Jack Tuter. The 70-year-old Republican said he hopes to ensure that “every vote counts” and restore trust in the elections process following a rocky recount that saw the governor cast Snipes and her staff as “unethical liberals” trying to steal the election from Republicans.
But how can voters in Florida’s Democratic bastion trust that a Scott appointee will run the office with integrity?
“Watch me,” he said.
Antonacci has been in Broward County and meeting employees at the elections office since Monday morning. Upon his swearing in at 11:06 a.m., he assumed control of operations at the autonomous $19 million department, where Scott has announced Antonacci will serve the remainder of Snipes’ term through the 2020 elections.
But Antonacci may be walking into a buzz saw.
Read more at our news partner, the Miami Herald.