This just in: Head of Florida’s election watchdog office dies at 74


HR King
May 29, 2001
Peter Antonacci, a longtime lawyer and election official in Florida whom Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) recently appointed to the role of investigating election-related crimes, died Friday at age 74, according to a statement from the governor. The statement did not provide a cause of death. The site Florida Politics, which first reported the death, said the cause was a heart attack.
Antonacci was “a dedicated, tenacious, and assiduous public servant, lawyer, and respected professional — a friend to all in the State of Florida,” DeSantis said. “His fighting passion will be missed, and his legacy will persist in the hearts and minds of many.”
DeSantis, who is widely seen as a potential presidential candidate in 2024, appointed Antonacci in July to the newly created state position of director of the Office of Election Crimes and Security. The appointment came amid a growing trend by Republicans since the 2020 presidential election to limit voting access and embrace concerns about widespread election fraud, despite no evidence of it.
In August, the office announced the arrest of 20 people who voted in Florida after they were disqualified under state law from doing so because of earlier convictions for violent crimes. Advocates for formerly incarcerated people said the arrests highlighted problems with Florida’s byzantine system that they say rarely restores voting rights to those who qualify for it.