Florida representative announces lawsuit over Jacksonville mask mandate

Protest to end Duval County's mask mandate starts at 11:30

FILE PHOTO. Picture shows demonstrators in Huntington Beach, Calif. hold signs and U.S. flags as they protest the lockdown and wearing masks. Photo taken Saturday, June 27, 2020 (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) (Marcio Jose Sanchez, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Anthony Sabatini, a Republican member of the Florida Legislature, announced Monday morning that he has filed a lawsuit against the City of Jacksonville over the recently implemented mask mandate.

Sabatini on Twitter said the lawsuit was filed on behalf of a small business owner for “unlawfully” mandating through proclimation that anyone in a public space must wear a face mask.

The mandate was put in place by Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry as the number of COVID-19 cases in the city and the state continues to skyrocket.

Sabatini is expected to be in attendance for an anti-mask rally in front of the Duval County Courthouse on Monday at 11:30 a.m.

Sabatini, who represents Lake County in Central Florida, has filed lawsuits across the state in recent weeks in an attempt to overturn face mask mandates. He has similar lawsuits in St. Johns County, Hillsborough County and Orange County.

“They’re micromanaging the lives of every individual in Orange County to look important, to look tough, to look cool,” Rep. Sabatini told Fox 35.

Jacksonville has become a focus for the face mask debate as officials prepare to host the Republican National Convention in August, an event expected to attract thousands of people.

Sabatini will join Reopen Florida Monday morning, a group against the mandatory shutdowns and restrictions on businesses and public properties put into place to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The nonpartisan group has been raising money on GoFundMe so it can file a lawsuit against Duval County to nullify Mayor Lenny Curry’s mask mandate. So far the campaign has raised more than $8,000.

The Northeast Chapter said on social media, the mandatory mask requirement is a “gross abuse of government power by Mayor Lenny Curry and his office.”

Organizers said it will be an unmasked event.