Peter Antonacci, 1st head of Florida election police, dies

Antonacci had a lifelong career in public service

Peter Antonacci is sworn in as Broward County Supervisor of Elections, Dec. 6, 2018, at the Broward County courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Peter Antonacci, an attorney and lifelong Florida public servant who recently led the new statewide election crimes unit, has passed away.

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office confirmed Antonacci’s passing Friday in a statement to News 6.

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“He was a dedicated, tenacious, and assiduous public servant, lawyer, and respected professional — a friend to all in the State of Florida,” DeSantis said in his statement.

Antonacci was appointed director of the newly-formed Office of Election Crimes and Security back in July. He was by DeSantis’ side as the governor announced the arrests of 20 felons accused of voting in the 2020 election when they weren’t supposed to.

Before that, he had an extensive career that included a statewide prosecutor, deputy attorney general under former Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth, a general counsel for former Gov. Rick Scott, and CEO of Enterprise Florida. He was also briefly appointed as Broward County supervisor of elections in the wake of the 2018 election debacle.

Antonacci got his law degree from Florida State University College of Law.

“His fighting passion will be missed, and his legacy will persist in the hearts and minds of many,” DeSantis said.

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Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.