When longtime Pinellas/Pasco State Attorney Bernie McCabe died late Friday night it set into motion a political maneuvering complicated by a scheduled swearing-in just days away.
McCabe, in November, won reelection to another four year term. He was set to be sworn in for that term, expected to be his last before retiring, on Tuesday, Jan. 5.
With his passing there are actually now two vacancies — the one between now and Tuesday and then another for the next term that begins on Tuesday.
Under state statute, Sixth Judicial Circuit of Florida Chief Judge Anthony Rondolino will appoint an acting State Attorney to fill McCabe’s vacancy until Tuesday. After that, Gov. Ron DeSantis will appoint an interim State Attorney to serve until 2022, at which point a Special Election will be held to elect a new officeholder through 2024 when a General Election will decide the State Attorney for a full four-year term.
Florida state statute holds that any vacancy resulting in 28 months or more on a term is subject to an interim appointment until the next General Election at which point a Special Election will be held. In this case that is the 2022 midterm elections.