Gov. Ron DeSantis has chosen State Rep. Cord Byrd of Jacksonville to be Florida’s next Secretary of State.
Byrd, an attorney who is from Jacksonville and lives in Neptune Beach, has been a staunch advocate for election security, public integrity, the fight against big tech censorship, and the de-platforming of political candidates. Byrd has served in the Florida House since 2016 and was eying a seat in the Florida Senate before his appointment.
“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. “I look forward to his successes ensuring Florida’s elections remain safe, secure, and well-administered.”
“Under the leadership of Gov. DeSantis, Florida has led the way on election security and preserving freedom for its residents,” Byrd said.
“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.”
Echoing DeSantis, Byrd’s colleague on the Duval Legislative Delegation Jason Fischer said, “Cord Byrd has been a champion for election integrity in the House. I’m confident that he will make sure we have the most secure elections in America.”
Over the past six years in the Florida House, Byrd served on the Public Integrity and Elections Committee, including two years as vice-chairman. During his time in the legislature, Byrd has sought to protect freedom in Florida by:
- Sponsoring legislation banning Sanctuary Cities;
- Sponsoring legislation requiring the use of E-Verify;
- Sponsoring HB 1 in 2021, the most pro-law enforcement legislation in the nation;
- Sponsoring legislation establishing the Parents’ Bill of Rights;
- Sponsoring HB 1297, improving Florida’s cybersecurity infrastructure.
Byrd replaces Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee, appointed by DeSantis as Florida’s 36th Secretary of State in February 2019. Lee previously served as the Circuit Court Judge in Florida’s Thirteenth Judicial Circuit in Hillsborough County. She is resigning to run for Congress.
Byrd’s appointment comes at a time when there is widespread concern over the integrity of elections. Having a conservative from Jacksonville in charge of elections statewide should alleviate some of that concern.
“I’m looking forward to working with the governor on election integrity,” Byrd told Eye on Jacksonville. “We have new laws passed in the past few years that will help.”
“It is something I’ve worked on since 1998 when I was a poll watcher, and it is a passion of mine. Getting the new election crimes units up and running will be one of my first steps.”