Florida's New Elections Boss is a Tampa Judge

TALLAHASSEE (970 WFLA) -- Florida has a new Secretary of State and chief elections official.

Governor Ron DeSantis named 13th Circuit Court Judge Laurel Lee to the post Monday afternoon. 

Lee has been a circuit judge based in Tampa since then-Governor Rick Scott named her to the post in 2013. Before that, she was a federal prosecutor. 

Lee is married to Brandon Republican State Senator Tom Lee. She recused herself from a lawsuit over the transportation sales tax passed last year in Hillsborough County, after one of the parties complained about her husband's position on the tax. 

She succeeds Mike Ertel, who was forced to resign last week after photos from 2005 surfaced of him attending a costume party dressed in drag and blackface, wearing a New Orleans Saints bandanna, depicting a Hurricane Katrina evacuee.

The Secretary of State's office oversees elections and also promotes Florida's cultural activity and the arts. 

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