Gov. DeSantis taps state lawmaker as new secretary of state

May 13, 2022, 2:50 AM | Updated: 2:53 pm
FILE -Rep. Cord Byrd, R-Neptune Beach, makes his closing remarks on his sponsored E-verify bill dur...

FILE -Rep. Cord Byrd, R-Neptune Beach, makes his closing remarks on his sponsored E-verify bill during session Wednesday, March 11, 2020, in Tallahassee, Fla. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday, May 13, 2022 appointed state Republican Rep. Cord Byrd as the new secretary of state, following the resignation of Laurel M. Lee.(AP Photo/Steve Cannon, File)

(AP Photo/Steve Cannon, File)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday appointed state Republican Rep. Cord Byrd as the new secretary of state, following the resignation of Laurel M. Lee.

In a statement, DeSantis, a Republican, called Byrd a “staunch advocate for election security, public integrity, the fight against big tech censorship and the de-platforming of political candidates.”

“Cord Byrd has been an ally of freedom and democracy in the Florida Legislature, and I am confident he will carry that mission forward as Secretary of State,” DeSantis said.

Lee’s resignation was announced Thursday. News outlets have reported that she is leaving the post as the state’s top election official to run for Congress.

The office shake-up comes months before the midterm elections and follows a new law creating an office under the secretary of state tasked with investigating voter fraud, a top Republican priority. It also occurs as Florida is embroiled in a legal challenge to a new congressional map drawn by DeSantis’ staff.

“As Secretary of State, I will make sure Florida continues to have secure elections and that we protect the freedom of our citizens in the face of big-tech censorship and ever-growing cybersecurity threats,” Byrd said in a statement.

Byrd has served in the House since 2016 and has been a member of the chamber’s committee on public integrity and elections since taking office, including two years as vice chair.

The governor’s statement announcing the appointment highlighted Byrd’s sponsorship of legislation banning so-called sanctuary cities in Florida — localities that provide added protection to immigrants — and a bill regarding the state’s cybersecurity infrastructure, among other measures.

Rep. Angie Nixon, a Democrat and frequent critic of the governor, slammed DeSantis’ pick in a statement shortly after he was announced.

“Florida’s top elections official should be a consensus builder whose sole focus is running free and fair elections for every citizen of our state. Cord Byrd is not that person,” she said. “He is unqualified in both his credentials and his temperament, has proved time and again he will put partisanship ahead of good policy, and is unfit to lead the elections department of a diverse state of more than 20 million people.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Man who shot protesters in suburban Denver gets jail time

DENVER (AP) — A man who shot and wounded two demonstrators while apparently aiming at a Jeep that was headed toward the crowd during a protest to bring attention to police violence in suburban Denver in 2020 was sentenced Tuesday to 120 days in jail followed by five years of probation. Samuel Young, 24, had […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

$121.5M settlement in New Mexico clergy sex abuse scandal

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — One of the oldest Catholic dioceses in the United States announced a settlement agreement Tuesday to resolve a bankruptcy case in New Mexico that resulted from a clergy sex abuse scandal. The tentative deal totals $121.5 million and would involve about 375 claimants. The proposed settlement comes as the Catholic […]
20 hours ago
Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks at a housing development near Geelong, Wednesday, ...
Associated Press

Australian leader won’t say who might attend Tokyo summit

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday would not say who might represent the nation at a summit with U.S., Indian and Japanese leaders in Tokyo just three days after Australian elections on Saturday. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said there were “conventions in place” to deal with the election but did […]
20 hours ago
WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner leaves a courtroom after a hearing, in...
Associated Press

State Dept pushing to see Griner, NBA Commissioner weighs in

The State Department said Tuesday that it still pushing to have regular contact with WNBA star Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury, who has been detained in Russia for nearly three months. A consular official was able to meet with Griner last week, when her pre-trial detention in Russia was extended for one month. Griner […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

Tropical cyclone blacks out 182,000 homes in southern Brazil

SAO PAULO (AP) — Tropical Cyclone Yakecan hit Brazil’s southern state of Rio Grande do Sul and authorities said about 182,000 homes were without electricity Tuesday night. Local utility CEEE Equatorial said on its social media channels that it had all its staff out dealing with damage from the storm, which blew trees and other […]
20 hours ago
Fire rages along a ridgeline east of highway 518 near the Taos County line as firefighters from all...
Associated Press

New Mexico fires prompt forest closures; governor seeks aid

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico’s governor said Tuesday that given the ferocity and swift movements of a record-setting wildfire burning in the northeastern part of the state, the damage will be significant with estimates of burned homes and other structures likely to range between 1,000 and 1,500. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham stressed that was […]
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
Gov. DeSantis taps state lawmaker as new secretary of state