Governor DeSantis taps state lawmaker as new secretary of state

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. [AP] — On Friday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis appointed state Republican Rep. Cord Byrd as the brand new secretary of state, following the resignation of Laurel M. Lee.

In a commentary, DeSantis known as 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 mentioned.

Lee’s resignation used to be introduced Thursday.

The place of job shake-up comes months prior to the midterm elections and follows a brand new regulation growing an place of job underneath the secretary of state tasked with investigating voter fraud, a most sensible Republican precedence. It additionally happens as Florida is embroiled in a felony problem to a brand new congressional map drawn by way of DeSantis’ body of workers, the Associated Press reported.

“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 mentioned in a commentary.

Byrd has served within the House since 2016 and has been a member of the chamber’s committee on public integrity and elections since taking place of job, together with two years as vice-chair.

The governor’s commentary pronouncing the appointment highlighted Byrd’s sponsorship of law banning so-called sanctuary towns in Florida — localities that supply added coverage to immigrants — and a invoice in regards to the state’s cybersecurity infrastructure, amongst different measures.

Rep. Angie Nixon, a Democrat and common critic of the governor, slammed DeSantis’ select in a commentary in a while after he used to be introduced, in line with AP.

“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 mentioned. “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.”

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