Former Greenberg challenger Brian Beute to run for Seminole supervisor of elections post

Brian Beute, a former private school teacher who was the innocent victim of a Joel Greenberg smear campaign nearly four years ago, has launched a bid to become Seminole County’s next supervisor of elections.

Beute, an Oviedo resident and Republican, seeks to succeed Chris Anderson, who announced late last month that he would not seek reelection in 2024. Beute is the first candidate to announce his intention for the countywide post.

“I’ve spent the last five years fighting to expose corruption and wrong-doing in Seminole County,” said Beute, referring to how he was one of the first to call out about Greenberg’s crimes as tax collector.

Beute pointed to his experience as the past president of the nonprofit conservation group Save Rural Seminole and as the owner of Civitas Strategies, a consulting firm for roofing companies he launched last year.

Beute has lived in Seminole County since 2015. He is married and has two adult children.

In the fall of 2019, Greenberg launched a defamation campaign against Beute, who was working as a teacher at the time and had just filed to run against Greenberg for the tax collector’s post.

Greenberg was already the target of a federal investigation. Still, he coordinated a campaign of anonymous letters to be sent to Beute’s school falsely alleging the teacher had sexually abused a student.

When sentencing Greenberg to 11 years in federal prison in early December, U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell called Greenberg’s actions against Beute “downright evil.” Greenberg apologized to Beute in court.

Beute said he’s been urged by “community leaders and citizens” to run for the supervisor of elections position.

“I want to continue to be a productive vehicle in reminding citizens that we don’t want to go backward. We want to move forward,” he said. “We must always fight to ensure that our voting process is transparent and trusted — from voter registration, to absentee ballots, to early votes, to election day voting, to the possibility of any recount measures.”

Anderson has served as Seminole’s elections chief since 2019 after being selected by Gov. Ron DeSantis to replace Mike Ertel, who became Florida’s secretary of state at the time. At the time, Anderson was chief of security for the Tax Collector’s Office under Greenberg.

In November 2020, Anderson, a Republican, defeated Democrat Deborah Poulalion in the general election, earning 54% of the votes cast.

Anderson has not said why he decided to not seek another term.