Scott’s new state attorney appointee Peter Antonacci says he won’t run in fallby George Bennett | March 9th, 2012
Antonacci, a Republican, said this morning that he does not plan to run for a full four-year term in the fall.
That’s good news for former Democratic state Sen. Dave Aronberg, the only candidate who has opened a 2012 campaign for the job.
Antonacci, 63, is a former statewide prosecutor and deputy attorney general who now works as a lawyer and lobbyist for the powerhouse Gray Robinson firm in Tallahassee. McAuliffe, elected in 2008, is leaving next Friday to take a job with billionaire Bill Koch‘s Oxbow Carbon.
“Pete’s distinguished legal career and experience as a prosecutor in complex cases has earned him a well-deserved reputation throughout the state,” Scott said in a press release. “I am confident he is well qualified to serve as State Attorney for the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit.”
Scott originally received 11 applications for the appointment by a Feb. 22 deadline. But on Wednesday night, the governor’s office announced it was reopening the process for less than 24 hours. Antonacci submitted his application Thursday. He said he met with Scott to talk about the job last week.
“I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to serve the people,” Antonacci said in an interview. Though he’ll be in the job for less than a year, he said: “There’s no such thing as an interim or acting state attorney. There’s only one kind of state attorney and that’s the kind that has the authority to prosecute cases in the name of the state…There’s not going to be anything ‘acting’ about what I do. I’m there to take the responsibility of the job seriously.”
Antonacci said he has spoken to McAuliffe about the office and plans to be in Palm Beach County next week to get up to speed. Antonacci said he also plans to establish residence in Palm Beach County.