Anthony Sabatini wins Lake GOP Chair
Anthony Sabatini and wife Francheska. Image via Twitter.

Anthony Sabatini
This makes him eligible to run for state chair of the Republican Party of Florida.

Former Rep. Anthony Sabatini, a Howey-in-the-Hills Republican, has won election as Lake County Republican Party Chair. He unseated a former ally, and is now eligible to run for state Chair.

“Honored to be voted in as the new Chairman of the Lake County Republican Party … — it’s time to make the State and National GOP a true party of the grassroots and the America-First movement,” Sabatini tweeted. “And that starts right here in Lake County.”

Sabatini defeated incumbent Walter Price for Chair of the county Republican Executive Committee. Price told Florida Politics he expects Sabatini to use the Chair post to run for state Chair. Sitting Republican Party of Florida Chair Joe Gruters is not seeking re-election, and elections for the state position were moved to February as Gruters runs for Treasurer of the Republican National Committee.

Two other candidates, Leon County GOP Chair Evan Power and Sarasota County State Committeeman Christian Ziegler, have already announced bids for GOP state Chair. Both have effectively been vying for the position for years and have long been active in the state party.

Sabatini served two terms in the Legislature but did not seek a third. During that time, he had a fractious relationship with members of his party, ultimately being assigned an office in the basement at the Capitol.

Instead of pursuing a third term, Sabatini ran for an open seat in Congress. But he lost to Republican Cory Mills in a GOP Primary in Florida’s 7th Congressional District. Sabatini has since launched a federal committee and raised money with promises to stop Kevin McCarthy from becoming Speaker of the House, a decision in which he has no voice having lost his bid for Congress.

He is one of several “America First” candidates to have won county party positions since the Midterm Elections wrapped. A slate of candidates backed by Collier County State Committeeman Alfie Oakes just took over the Republican Executive Committee there. Candidates backed by Oakes, Sabatini and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn also won all officer positions in Lee County.

America First candidates also won Chairmanships in Hillsborough County, Alachua County and other places. But they have tallied losses as well in places like Citrus and Sarasota counties.

The play by the right wing of the party includes many figures closely associated with former President Donald Trump. The run for multiple local positions has been viewed as an opening salvo for a coming Primary fight for the presidential nomination between Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis.

County Chairs are eligible and have a vote for state Chair of the party.

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]


11 comments

  • PeterH

    December 14, 2022 at 9:47 am

    Let’s keep in mind that Florida politics is not a microcosm of American politics or Democracy.

    • ave

      December 14, 2022 at 3:13 pm

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    • U.N. Less

      December 15, 2022 at 4:24 am

      Unless it is doing what you want it to do, and then it is a bastion of hope, love, peace, progressivism and joy.

    • Boaz

      December 16, 2022 at 3:12 am

      Thank God … for Florida, I mean.

  • Impeach Biden

    December 14, 2022 at 10:55 am

    Wasn’t he once involved in a Sarasota dog fighting ring?

  • ScienceBLVR

    December 14, 2022 at 2:55 pm

    Just the fact his constituents passed on him in the congressional seat primary says a lot. Not my district, but every time I saw his name attached to something, he was on the crazy side of crappola. Geesh, this is who Lake County wants to run their party? So glad I don’t live there.

    • Ocean Joe

      December 15, 2022 at 6:28 pm

      Louie Gohmert was not available, so they had no choice.

  • just sayin

    December 14, 2022 at 3:45 pm

    Lake County, what the hell is wrong with you? This guy is toxic to the party (and everyone else).

  • tom palmer

    December 14, 2022 at 5:05 pm

    Well it is Lake County. Why is anyone surprised?

  • Joe Corsin

    December 15, 2022 at 8:10 am

    Another hardcore neo nazi terrorist supporter. These people do nothing for their constituents. Just empty suits. All it takes is a red hat to convince someone idiot to vote for another idiot.

    • Boaz

      December 17, 2022 at 9:38 pm

      What’s with all your National Socialist references? They’re becoming trite.

Comments are closed.


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