Anthony Sabatini can’t vote for a new Speaker, but he wants your money anyway
Anthony Sabatini. Image via Colin Hackley.

What's he trying to pull now?

Anthony Sabatini doesn’t want current House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy ascending to House Speaker. And while the Howey-in-the-Hills Republican has no say whatsoever after losing his own race for Congress, he’s still raising money off the controversy.

In a move called out on social media as a potential scam, the former state lawmaker blasted emails to supporters asking for donations to stop McCarthy. He lays out no plan as to how to do it.

An email promises his new PAC, Florida Freedom Action, will stop McCarthy.

“We need 7 members of Congress to vote AGAINST McCarthy, and we need your help spreading the word and making sure that your Representative votes ‘NO,’” reads an email blast sent by Florida Freedom Action and shared with criticism on Twitter by Chris Nelson.

The blast then asks emails for donors to share anywhere from $25 to $5,000, or to donate more.

“Help Florida Freedom Action spread the word an (sic) STOP MCCARTHY from becoming the next speaker of the House.” The email is signed by Sabatini.

Nelson promptly calls into question how donating money to the PAC will have any impact on the race for the next Speaker of the House.


The PAC itself has no history. Documents creating the PAC were filed on Sept. 16, weeks after Sabatini lost his primary bid for Congress. It bears an address not in Washington, but in Clermont, near Sabatini’s Lake County home. A website for the committee says checks can be sent to an address in Mount Dora, another Lake County locality.

Interestingly, that fundraising website makes no mention of the Speaker’s race, and promises only that it will be “working to elect Florida freedom fighters.”

That seems to indicate what donors would actually fund is future runs by congressional candidates — whether that means supporting Sabatini or his allies — and perhaps siding in Republican Primaries against sitting members of Congress.

Already, Florida will send 20 Republican members to Congress in its 28-member House delegation, and the GOP won every competitive seat in the state.

Notably, many in Seminole County viewed the GOP Primary in Florida’s 7th Congressional District as a proxy battle over who should lead a Republican-led House in the upcoming Congress. Republican Cory Mills, who won the Primary and later the General Election, plans to support McCarthy. Sabatini promised he would not.

Had Sabatini won, he could not only vote against McCarthy but rally opposition from within the caucus. But he lost, so he can’t.

As for who Sabatini prefers, he tweeted support for U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs, an Arizona Republican. Sabatini also retweeted news of U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, who had endorsed Sabatini’s bid for Congress, committing he would not back McCarthy.

However, Gaetz is not backing Biggs either. On his Firebrand podcast, he said he wants Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio to lead the caucus.

Will more email blasts sent out with massive price tags change that? It seems difficult, to be generous, understanding how that would in any way help.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Mike Collins

    November 15, 2022 at 7:45 am

    Is the Florida Bar aware of this indefensible swindle?

  • It's Complicated

    November 15, 2022 at 10:19 am

    Interesting. I wonder how many people actually care who Sabatini supports to be Speaker of the U.S. House? He appears to be ‘shouting in an empty room.’

Comments are closed.


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