INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – Longtime chief assistant state attorney Tom Bakkedahl became State Attorney for the 19th Judicial Circuit at 12:01 today when the filing deadline for the elected office passed without anyone else tossing a hat in the ring. The 19th Judicial Circuit includes Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin and Okeechobee counties.
At the same moment, Public Defender Diamond Litty won her 7th 4-year term by the same means – no one challenged her before the qualifying period ended at noon Friday.
Bakkedahl, 53, who earned his law degree at Florida State University, has been with the State Attorney’s office since 1991, serving as chief assistant since the early 2000s. He replaces his long-serving former boss Bruce Colton.
The state attorney job pays $169,554 a year. Bakkedahl won a 4-year term.
Litty, 63, runs the office that represents defendants who cannot afford a lawyer. She will earn $169,554 a year.