Anthony Sabatini, far-right groups target Kathleen Passidomo for blocking culture war bills
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 11/22/22-Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, speaks during Organizational Session, Tuesday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

But a spokesperson for the Senate President said her record should make conservatives proud.

Culture wars haven’t dominated this Legislative Session the same as last year, especially in the Senate. That has left far-right activists angry at Senate President Kathleen Passidomo.

The Lake County Republican Party passed a resolution censuring the Senate President. The county GOP Chair, congressional candidate and former state Rep. Anthony Sabatini, attacked the Naples Republican online as a “spineless RINO.”

A day later, the Republican Liberty Caucus of Florida inducted the Naples Republican into its “Oath Breakers Hall of Shame.”

“As the conscience of the Republican Party we believe it’s our responsibility to call out the power players in Tallahassee,” said caucus Chair Bob White.

But Passidomo’s campaign tossed aside the complaints as self-interested pandering.

“It’s extremely disappointing to see Anthony Sabatini slandering conservative leaders in Florida in a selfish attempt to advance his own campaign,” said Amanda Bevis, a political spokesperson for Passidomo.

Bevis said Republicans voters showed in the Midterms who they believed should lead the party. In that election cycle, Sabatini lost a congressional Primary to now-U.S. Rep. Cory Mills, a New Smyrna Beach Republican. Meanwhile, Passidomo, in addition to winning re-election to the Senate unopposed, led Florida Senate Republicans to a supermajority.

“Anthony Sabatini lost the support of his own constituents in 2022, the same election cycle that Kathleen Passidomo led the campaign operation that elected the largest Senate Republican supermajority in more than a decade,” Bevis said.

“Since then, while Sabatini is throwing irrelevant slights from the sidelines, Kathleen Passidomo has been busy at work alongside Governor Ron DeSantis and Speaker Paul Renner passing the most conservative agenda since Republicans earned majority control of state government.”

Halfway through Session, the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) adopted a legislative agenda, listing party activists’ top 10 priority bills. But even then, more than half the bills had already died, most in the Senate.

At this point, the top seven bills on that list appear dead in the Senate, including bills imposing term limits for County Commissioners, barring nonprofits from gender sensitivity training, banning Pride flags on public property, protecting Confederate monuments, making gold and silver legal tender, reducing the buying age for all guns to 18, and prohibiting gender changes on driver’s licenses.

After the RPOF approved the list, Passidomo told reporters the list would not guide the legislative process. “Our bill process is not the Republican Party of Florida,” she said in a press gaggle.

But as far-right voices target Passidomo, her campaign touted her record as one of the most conservative leaders in the history of the Legislature.

“As Senate President, Kathleen Passidomo successfully passed legislation that expands school choice, empowers parents in the lives of their children, secures our borders, supports law enforcement, protects innocent life, creates opportunities for career education and provides millions in tax relief to Florida families, all while passing balanced budgets that pay off state debt and set aside record reserves,” Bevis said.

“That’s a record any conservative would be proud of.”

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].


  • PeterH

    February 29, 2024 at 10:23 am

    Republicans are America’s worst enemy!

    Vote all Republicans out of office!

  • Henry Lerner

    February 29, 2024 at 10:33 am

    Because Culture War Bullspit is what really matters to most Americans.

    The GOP is tone deaf AF.

  • Dale A Arnold

    February 29, 2024 at 10:48 am

    Cost of home ownership is out of control, insurance is out of control, one of the highest inflation in the US, rents are going ever upward and they want “culture wars”
    Republicans are lost!
    They believe cells in a dish is a child!
    Wacky stuff!!!

  • There are SNAILS on her plate

    February 29, 2024 at 11:38 am

    Republicans and their unculture war.

    Two boobs.

    A match made in Maga Lardo aka Heaven

  • MyPillow Guy

    February 29, 2024 at 11:41 am

    I will award five million dollars to any GOP Legislator who can correctly discern a human embryo from a fish embryo from an amyphbian embryo from a bird embro, but you gotta get ALL five right or you get nothing

  • Dont Say FLA

    February 29, 2024 at 3:44 pm

    Can we assume the gay trans drag queens have all been defeated now that the GOPs are turning against each other, seemingly in absence of anyone else to pick fights with?

  • Mike Collins

    March 1, 2024 at 7:53 am

    Anthony Sabatini, a/k/a “Absentini” for his lousy attendance record when he was a pathetic state rep, Is like a car alarm: loud, but nobody pays attention. Time for this punk and his ilk to STFU.

    • MH/Duuuval

      March 1, 2024 at 10:16 am

      Yes, please, dump this nincompoop Sabatini on the curb somewhere.

      Passidomo is one of the only adults in the room in Tally. When she leaves Senate leadership, the deluge begins.

Comments are closed.


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