Coronavirus protocols at the Capitol kept swearing-in ceremonies small this year, but Rep. Michelle Salzman has planned a makeup date.
The freshman Republican sent out an invite Wednesday for a “private swearing in ceremony” in Pensacola. It will be held at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 2 at the Pensacola Yacht Club, 1897 Cypress Street.
Per the invite, masks will be required and social distancing will be observed. Also, the invitation says the event is restricted to “friends and family of Michelle Salzman.”
The event comes after a ceremonial swearing in ceremony was held at the Capitol last week during the Organization Session.
Though typically a major event, especially for first-time lawmakers, the pandemic necessitated a hard cap on the number of people who could be on the House floor.
Rules set by new House Speaker Chris Sprowls allowed only current elected members and “select guests” of the Speaker.
As an alternative, the East and West Galleries were opened for member guests who had preregistered. Without a gallery pass, the only other option was The Florida Channel livestream.
Salzman was elected to represent House District 1 earlier this month, though the contest was mostly decided in August when she defeated former Republican Rep. Mike Hill in the primary.
Hill’s second stint in the House was divisive.
Last year, he made headlines for laughing at the suggestion that people start stoning gays. After a recording of the event surfaced, Hill found himself crossways with then-House Speaker Jose Oliva and Sprowls.
His insincere apology led many notable Northwest Florida Republicans, such as former Senate President Don Gaetz and former Rep. Frank White, to openly support Salzman’s primary campaign. And, on Aug. 18, she defeated him 52%-48%.
A copy of her event invitation is below.