Anthony Sabatini promises Halloween ‘Nightmare on RINO Street’
Rep. Anthony Sabatini rallies in Jax. Image via A.G. Gancarski

The Trump-friendly Republicans for National Renewal is hosting the event.

A state lawmaker who hasn’t gotten much traction in Tallahassee is looking to take his act to Washington — and he’s hoping Halloween helps.

Lake County Rep. Anthony Sabatini, currently running in Florida’s 7th Congressional District, will appear at a so-called “Nightmare on RINO Street” event Sunday in Orlando.

RINO is an oft-used acronym standing for “Republican in Name Only.” Anti-RINO Republicans can spend the waning hours of Halloween night at the event, which is hosted by the Trump-friendly Republicans for National Renewal organization.

Though Republicans are on the verge of a supermajority in the Florida Legislature, Sabatini is an outcast in his caucus, with his office literally banished to the House basement. He blames the “RINO” House Speaker for his obsolescence.

“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 after his office was moved earlier this year. “This year I’m filing a mental health and wellness Bill to help fragile people like Sprowls.”

The ill feelings between the Speaker and Sabatini go back to at least last year.

When Sprowls announced committee chair and vice chair appointments ahead of 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.

Meanwhile, if a Sabatini rant at a recent Brevard County event is any indication, “RINO Street” attendees can expect even more unvarnished rhetoric when Sabatini is unconstrained by 280 character limits.

“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, complaining about a lack of a Special Session to ban vaccine and mask mandates.

A Special Session is coming now, but there is no reason to expect Sabatini to retract his words.

Despite being marginalized in the House, Sabatini continues to carry legislation, though much of it seems more designed to shock than to actually serve as good public policy.

For example, one of his legislative priorities is the “Vulnerable Child Protection Act.” The bill would deny transgender youth medical care by penalizing doctors who treat them for issues related to gender.

Sabatini will join Matt Braynard, who is billed as a consultant for the “Justice for J6” event. The September event was supposed to have galvanized support for folks who laid siege to the Capitol to protest the certification of the 2020 presidential election. But people didn’t show.

Former President Donald Trump would not sanction the event, calling it a “setup.” Regardless of Trump’s feelings, however, expect a narrative justifying the armed mob’s attempt to subvert the presidential election could percolate in the City Beautiful Sunday night.

As things stand now, Sabatini expects the CD 7 race to come down to him as the GOP nominee, pitted against incumbent U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy. Republicans, including Sabatini, are raising more money than the incumbent currently.

Murphy, a moderate Democrat from Winter Park, raised less than $140,000 in the third quarter, less than the $223,000 Sabatini raised. However, while Sabatini has roughly $392,000 on hand, Murphy has nearly $2M, suggesting there is a lot of ground to make up for any challenger.

The incumbent is perceived as vulnerable by national Republicans in what could be a wave election for the GOP. But it is far from certain Sabatini’s message will be an easy sell to swing voters.

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz is among a few congressional endorsers for Sabatini, a group that includes U.S. Sen. Rand Paul and U.S. Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Madison Cawthorn

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski

One comment

  • Alex

    October 31, 2021 at 7:35 am


    This guy is a lunatic.

Comments are closed.


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