Broward County's supervisor of elections, Brenda Snipes, has "withdrawn her resignation," the Hill reports, after Florida Governor Rick Scott threatened to cut off her pension.
Snipes, who presided over an utterly embarrassing recount effort in Broward County following the 2018 midterm elections, told reporters on Saturday, through her attorney, that she refuses to be shamed by Scott and would not simply leave office quietly.
"Dr. Snipes hereby rescinds her resignation,” attorney Burnadette Norris-Weeks told media, adding that the governor's efforts to remove Snipes from office before January were nothing more than an attempt to "tarnish [Snipes’s] record.”
Snipes will be “fighting this to the very end,” Norris-Weeks said.
Snipes officially resigned her position after the Broward Country recount was completed, and after days of errors and missteps that saw Broward lag far behind neighboring counties in handling ballot issues (Snipes's team, even, at one point, lost more than 2,000 ballots, with hours remaining until the election results had to be certified). She would have remained in office until January, and would have been eligible for a $170,000 state pension.
But Governor Rick Scott announced late last week that Snipes was overstaying her welcome, and Scott officially removed her from office, appointing a Republican supervisor of elections to take over immediately.
"Every eligible voter in Florida deserves their vote to be counted and should have confidence in Florida’s elections process," Scott said in a statement about his actions last week.
"After a series of inexcusable actions, it’s clear that there needs to be an immediate change in Broward County and taxpayers should no longer be burdened by paying a salary for a Supervisor of Elections who has already announced resignation,” Scott added.
That turned out to be a bad deal for Snipes, who is now refusing to leave office unless she is removed by the state of Florida. Her current term isn't scheduled to end until the 2020 election year.
In a separate statement at a press conference held Saturday, Snipes accused Scott of being "vindictive" — even though Scott ultimately won the recount in Broward county and will now serve as Florida's junior senator — and pledged to seek out transparency.
She urged the audience to “have an open mind about this whole process," and claimed that “we have always done our work in an air of quality and integrity.”
Other Democrats piled on early Sunday, backing Snipes, according to The Washington Times.
"Cynthia Busch, chairman of the Broward County Democratic Party, questioned why Scott did not appoint someone from the community and appointed someone who is a 'Republican Party stalwart,'" the Times reported. "Rep. Shevrin Jones, a Democrat from Broward, called the suspension a 'play on his politics on his part.'"
The way forward may be easier than it looks, though. Snipes can be removed by state action, though Scott may leave any further movement to the Florida legislature rather than to his own office.