Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Friday that he has appointed Chris Anderson to the open Seminole County Supervisor of Elections job.

Speaking to reporters at the Historical Society of Palm Beach County Friday, DeSantis, who served in the Navy, noted that Anderson’s Army career included a tour in Afghanistan.

“I think if he can handle Afghanistan, I think he’s going to be able to handle supervisor of elections,” he said.

Anderson has since retired from the Army. He is as a disabled combat veteran and has served as a deputy sheriff in Seminole and Indian River counties. He was also a deputized United States Marshal and most recently served as the Chief Investigations Officer for the Seminole County Tax Collector’s office.

Anderson, a Republican, filed to run for northeast Seminole’s House District 28 in 2017, though he withdrew a year out from Election Day.

During that brief campaign, he shared his story of being raised by a single father who abused drugs and died of AIDS. Despite those obstacles, Anderson graduated high school, joined the Army, served in Afghanistan, and then came home to start a family and serve in the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office.

“There’s every reason why I should have been in the back seat of a police car, rather than as a deputy sheriff in the front seat today,” he said at the time. “I attribute the difference to faith, hard work and the belief that we live in a country where anyone can achieve the American Dream if we set our minds to it and never give up.”

Anderson, 36, has been married to his high school sweetheart, Ebony Anderson, for more than 15 years. They have a son and two daughters.

He replaces Michael Ertel, whom DeSantis brought on as Secretary of State. Ertel was elected to the position four times after being appointed by former Gov. Jeb Bush.

Ertel also praised DeSantis’ choice in a Twitter post, calling Anderson “a solid, steady hand” and predicting the county elections office “will thrive under his leadership.”

Anderson’s appointment was announced alongside executive orders to suspend Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher and recognizing the resignation of former Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes. He also appointed Wendy Sartory to replace Bucher.

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The News Service of Florida contributed to this post.

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