Action News Jax investigates: Local politician among guests who appear to violate city mask order at Pence event

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Action News Jax investigates a local lawmaker who appears to not be following Jacksonville’s mask mandate.

State Rep. Cord Byrd posted pictures on Twitter Saturday, showing himself and others not wearing a mask or social distancing in Jacksonville at a Republican National Convention host committee event for Vice President Mike Pence.

Byrd, who represents Nassau County and parts of Duval County, was shown smiling for the cameras in his tweets.

Two weeks ago, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry’s office announced a proclamation requiring masks to be worn indoors at events where social distancing isn’t possible.

In a tweet Friday, 24 hours before Pence’s visit, Curry said, “Put politics aside and wear a mask.”

On Sunday, Action News Jax Ben Becker sent a tweet to Byrd asking about the lack of masks or social distancing. Becker also looped in Curry and asked, “Is this a violation of the mask mandate regarding indoor events?”

The post has had more than 10,000 impressions according to Twitter.

Becker called Byrd’s last known cell phone number and his law office, but never heard back.

Becker also sent an e-mail seeking comment, but there was no response, although there was a response on social media.

One person summed up their feelings about local leaders at the event and said, “Do as I say, not as I do.”

Becker also asked Curry about Byrd’s apparent failure to follow the mask proclamation -- and again no response.

Curry, who did not attend the event and is in self-quarantine after coming into contact with someone who had COVID-19, sent out this tweet to the people of Jacksonville a week ago:

“Wear a mask. It is not about you. It is about us. Wear the damn mask.”

A spokesperson for Epping Forest Yacht & Country Club, where the event was held, tells Becker the host committee was informed that it had to follow the mayor’s proclamation.

The spokesperson for the host committee tells Becker they performed temperature checks, provided masks, encouraged guests to wear the masks and created 6-foot-grids to social distance.