New room assignments have one Republican House member fuming at Speaker Chris Sprowls.
Rep. Anthony Sabatini, a second-term Howey-in-the-Hills Republican, expressed a level of dissatisfaction with a new office directory released Wednesday for the Florida House.
“RINO Speaker of the House in Florida, beta Chris Sprowls (the guy who kills the Pro-Life, Pro-2A and E-Verify Bills each year) moved my legislative office because he’s BIG mad I call him out,” Sabatini tweeted on Thursday. “This year I’m filing a mental health and wellness Bill to help fragile people like Sprowls.”
Sprowls did not respond to requests for comment.
The new office assignments put Sabatini in 29H, or the lowest floor of the Florida House building. The only other lawmaker based on that floor is Rep. Kelly Skidmore, a Boca Raton Democrat elected in 2020.
The seeming exile to the House basement has been the buzz of Tallahassee.
Decoding the alt-right anagrams and slang in Sabatini’s tweet, the lawmaker suggested Sprowls was a Republican in name only who came off as subservient, weak and effeminate. He also alleged Sprowls has used his position as the Florida House of Representatives’ presiding officer to shelf conservative priorities like outlawing abortion, supporting gun rights and passing an E-Verify requirement for employers that requires more than the honor system.
He also reignited a more recent quarrel with the Speaker over whether Florida should pass a law forbidding private employers from putting requirements in place so employees don’t spread the coronavirus while on the job.
“Want to know why there is STILL no ban on employee vaccine and mask mandates in Florida? Meet milquetoast RINO Chris Sprowls,” Sabatini tweeted with a picture of the most powerful Republican in the Florida House. “He’s the GOP ‘leader’ in Florida who REFUSES to allow any law to stop vaccine employee mandates—or to stop school board mask mandates.”
The criticism of legislative leadership follows a Sabatini rant at a recent Brevard County event. Sabatini, in a crowded room of conservative activists, complained no Special Session had been called to stop employer mandates or to pass legislation forbidding school districts from requiring students to wear masks.
“These coward, RINO, spineless invertebrate scumbags in our state Legislature have sat back and done nothing and let this hell take over our state,” Sabatini told the Moms for Liberty Brevard chapter.
He also called Senate President Wilton Simpson a “liberal” and Rep. Thad Altman a “cuck,” political slang for a weak conservative with moderate views or any man whose wife is routinely cheating on him. The remarks resulted in Sabatini being banned from speaking at a Duval County Republican Women’s Club, sources tell Florida Politics.
This isn’t Sabatini’s first row with Sprowls. When Sprowls announced committee chair and vice chair appointments before the 2021 Session, Sabatini was the only second-term Republican not to get a No. 1 or No. 2 post on any House committees or subcommittees. Sabatini complained about that move at the time in a letter to the Speaker.
Sabatini is running for Congress rather than seeking a third term in the House.
“I’ve enjoyed my time in Tallahassee but I’m at the point now where I’m just so done with the games,” he told Moms for Liberty.
Notably, the Florida Legislature this year will redraw all congressional districts in Florida, which could dramatically impact the prospects for any candidate.