Peter Antonacci sworn in as Broward County elections supervisor

Scott's former general counsel replacing embattled Brenda Snipes

By Peter Burke - Managing Editor

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Peter Antonacci has been sworn in as the new Broward County Supervisor of Elections.

Broward County Chief Judge Jack Tutor swore Antonacci into office Thursday morning at the courthouse in Fort Lauderdale.

"We are in a desperate need for storage," Antonacci said after the ceremony. "Because, as you know, ballots have to be maintained for 22 months. We all know that story, and come the presidential preference primary in March, we're going to have hundreds of thousands of ballots to store, and we don't have storage space."

Antonacci was appointed by outgoing Gov. Rick Scott to replace Dr. Brenda Snipes, who submitted her resignation letter after the muddled statewide recount for governor, U.S. senator and agriculture commissioner.

Snipes was criticized for her office's handling of the recount, which included missing the deadline to submit the results by about two minutes.

Scott suspended Snipes last Friday, accusing her of misfeasance, incompetence and neglect of duty. Snipes rescinded her resignation the next day and is fighting to have her suspension lifted.

Antonacci most recently served as president and chief executive officer of Enterprise Florida. Before that, he served as Scott's general counsel.

This isn't the first time Antonacci has been tapped to fill a vacancy. The Republican attorney was chosen to head the South Florida Water Management District after Blake Guillory resigned in 2016, and Scott appointed him to serve as Palm Beach County's interim state attorney after Michael McAuliffe resigned in 2012.

AP Photo/Phil Coale

Pete Antonacci, special counsel for the governor's office (left), asks a question of a witness during the Senate hearing of suspended Broward County Supervisor of Elections Miriam Oliphant (right), July 19, 2004, in Tallahassee, Florida.

Snipes was appointed Broward County's elections chief by former Gov. Jeb Bush in 2003 after her predecessor, Miriam Oliphant, was suspended. She sued to be reinstated, but the Florida Senate voted 33-6 to uphold the decision. Antonacci was part of the legal team hired to represent Bush's office.

Antonacci also represented Bush's daughter, Noelle Bush, after her drug-related arrest in 2002. 

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