Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) turned a haircut into a PR moment Friday, when he sat for a televised trim from a hairdresser freshly released from jail after being held in contempt of court and defying the state’s stay-at-home orders.
He retweeted a local news story about the haircut, showing both himself and the Dallas-based hair dresser, Shelley Luther, to be wearing masks. Per Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s (R) executive orders, hair salons and barbershops are permitted to open on Friday.
— NBC DFW (@NBCDFW) May 8, 2020
Luther was released from jail by order of the Texas Supreme Court Thursday, after having been sentenced to seven days and a $7,000 fine by a district judge. She was charged with contempt after ignoring a judge’s order to close down her businesses.
Just before her release, Abbott retroactively decriminalized his executive orders.
Luther’s arrest became a rallying point for many Republicans in the state, with the attorney general in particular decrying her sentencing.
Some GOP state lawmakers actually sat for haircuts before salons were legally allowed to be open in an effort to pressure Abbott to move up his reopening timeline.
“For me, it was an act of civil disobedience, but it wasn’t personal,” Rep. Briscoe Cain (R) told the Texas Tribune after getting a little off the sides on Tuesday. “If you’ve been following my Twitter feed, I was encouraging people to do this — if I was going to encourage others, I should do it myself — to encourage customers to go to any business, whether it’s been deemed ‘essential’ or not, so we can help provide these business owners and employees an income so they can pay their bills.”
As of Friday afternoon, Texas had 35,390 reported cases and 973 deaths, per the state health department.