Celebrating Lori Sellers Rowe's judgeship
The past and present of the Gov. Charlie Crist administration came together for an hour Monday for a happy occasion: the investiture of Lori Sellers Rowe, the newest judge on Florida's First District Court of Appeal.
Crist appointed Rowe, 39, to the bench last September. The small chambers of the courthouse in downtown Tallahassee were filled to standing-room only for the ceremony. Crist's former chief of staff (and U.S. Senate campaign manager) Eric Eikenberg was there, as was former child welfare secretary Bob Butterworth, who administered the oath of office to Rowe. Florida's former Medicaid chief, Alan Levine, who now serves as Louisiana's health care chief, was there, along with nearly a dozen agency secretaries in the Crist administration.
Rowe said she wanted to become a lawyer at the age of 13. Friends described her as having a steel-trap memory, as being a practical jokester and someone who can bake a mean batch of cookies too. Her husband Richard, children Jackson and Caroline, parents and in-laws were all on hand.
Longtime friend Pete Antonacci, an ex-deputy attorney general who served on the nominating panel that forwarded Rowe's name to the governor, noted that Rowe has to run in a merit-retention election on the November ballot, and she has asked him to be her campaign manager. "At the conclusion of Rev. (Bob) Tindale's benediction, my office will be collecting addresses for yard signs," Antonacci said.