FRANKFORT, Ky. — As state lawmakers were called inside the Capitol for a special session Tuesday, a crowd gathered outside on the Capitol steps. 

What You Need To Know

  • Kentucky special legislative session started Tuesday

  • Rally held on State Capitol steps opposing COVID-19 mask mandates

  • Speakers included state senate candidate Andrew Cooperrider and restaurant owner Richard Hayhoe

  • Members support family choice on whether to wear masks in schools

Approximately 100 people rallied strongly opposed to any sort of mask or vaccine mandate. The protest was led by Andrew Cooperrider who is running in the Republican primary for Senate District 12 District 12, which is made up of part of Fayette County, is currently represented by Alice Forgy Kerr (R)

“At one point these legislators have to learn their job is not to pass the buck constantly and to instead take accountability and to watch over the government," Cooperrider said to a energized crowd with signs.

Richard Hayhoe also addressed the crowd on Tuesday. Hayhoe stepped into the mandate debate last year when he defied Gov. Andy Beshear's order that all indoor dining be closed. Hayhoe, owner of Beans Cafe & Bakery in Hebron and Dry Ridge, did not close indoor dining and since has been helping other restaurant and business owners network and support their decision to resist possible future mandates.

“As a result of inviting the public to monthly meetings at our restaurant we’ve worked with some small businesses to and come up with a plan to stand together and let the governor and now the legislators know that we will not comply with any COVID-related mandates," Hayoe told the crowd.

Richard Hayhoe speaks on the Capitol Steps (Spectrum News 1/Jonathon Gregg)

Tony Wheatley anchored Tuesday’s lineup of speakers. Wheatley is the founder of "Constitutional Kentucky," a self-proclaimed grassroots initiative to educate Kentuckians about constitutional rights in schools and other areas.

“And I’m not anti-vaccine. I’m not pro-vaccine. It’s a personal choice that each and everyone one of you need to make," Wheatley said with conviction.

“But it is up to the parents. I think the parents need to make that decision. They should go out and say let’s talk about what it is you’re doing. They are scaring the people is what they are doing. They are scaring the kids by saying you’ve got to wear a mask, you’ve got to wear a mask,:" Wheatley said.