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Lee Garner cuts a customer’s hair at J Henry's barber shop in Orlando after salons and barber shops were allowed to reopen because of the coronavirus Monday. Image via AP.


Florida Democrats fundraise against open barber shops, nail salons

Opening shops, Democrats said, showed disregard for workers.

The Florida Democratic Party is betting that at least some of its email list is outraged over open hair and nail salons.

A fundraising email Thursday said that Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ decision to allow these shops to open demonstrated a “blatant disregard for the people of Florida.”

The FDP asserts, in somewhat garbled syntax, that “DeSantis decided to extend Florida’s state of emergency by nearly two months while simultaneously declaring businesses such as hairdressing and nail salons to open.”

“This essentially forces workers to either risk infection in the service industry or lose their source of income. We cannot allow this kind of blatant disregard for the people of Florida to continue,” the FDP email says, adding that a donation will “help us elect Democrats across Florida to oppose [the Governor’s] negligence!”

Earlier this month, the Governor decided to allow the shops to reopen, even as other contact-intensive personal services, such as tattoos and massage, are still prohibited.

Worth noting: DeSantis did so only after attending a meeting in Orlando, with the Democratic Mayor of Orange County and various barbers and nail techs asserting they could do business safely.

DeSantis sat down with Mayor Jerry Demings and industry and health experts , and all parties discussed masks, sanitation, and other innovations necessary to make good grooming compliant with the new strictures of the social distancing age.

At least one barber endorsed the reopening heartily.

“We are ready to get back to work and make some money,” Orlando’s John Henry said in a video announcing the reopening.

“But getting back to work, we want to be safe to continue to wear gloves, wear masks, bookmark appointments and continue to keep the community safe. I know everyone is happy to come out and support the barbershop, and we want to continue to keep one thing in mind, safety is always first.”

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades. Gancarski has been a correspondent for since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at

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