Scott-appointed Broward elections supervisor sworn in amid recount fallout

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Moments after he was sworn in, Broward County’s new supervisor of elections vowed to determine what led to the department’s ballot problems during and after the midterm elections.

7News cameras captured Peter Antonacci, his right hand raised, as he assumed the duties of his new position, Thursday.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott selected Antonacci days after he suspended the new appointee’s embattled predecessor, Dr. Brenda Snipes, for what he called “misfeasance, incompetence and neglect of duty,” according to a news release.

However, Snipes had already submitted her resignation by Friday’s suspension, prompting some to question whether Scott’s decision was politically motivated.

“It’s not a political job, and I’ve never approached any of the assignments that I’ve had with a political bent in mind,” said Antonacci after his swearing-in ceremony.

Antonacci is known as Scott’s ally and fixer. The attorney has worked as Broward County’s state attorney as well as the executive director of South Florida Water Management. He is currently head of the business recruitment agency Enterprise Florida.

“He is going to do a tremendous job for the people of Broward County,” said former Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth as he stood next to Antonacci.

Snipes, however, is not going down without a fight. On Saturday, she announced she’s rescinding her resignation.

“We’ve made lots of achievements, accomplishments, and have always done our work in an air of quality and integrity,” she said during a news conference.

Antonacci is set to serve the final two years of Snipes’ term and has no plans to run for reelection. He said he’s already hard at work learning the complex system that is running an election.

“I’ve interviewed the supervisor’s staff, and we have some very good, honorable public officials who are ready to conduct elections,” he said, “very efficient elections here in the future that the people of Broward County can be proud of.”

Antonacci has made no staffing decisions as of Thursday afternoon, but he said change is inevitable.

When asked if he has anything to say to Broward voters who feel their vote was not counted in the Nov. 6 midterms, the new appointee replied, “Watch me.”

At least five Broward cities are scheduled to hold municipal elections in March.

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