Temecula mayor juggles running business and city

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James Stewart
Temecula Mayor James Stewart, owner of Stews Barber Shops seen standing inside one of his Temecula shops, is advocating for COVID-19 restrictions on businesses to be lifted as the threat of a negative longterm impact on the economy looms from lockdowns continuing to be enforced. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo
James Stewart wears a couple of different hats. “Stew,” as he prefers to be referred to, is the mayor of Temecula, of course. But he’s also a small-town barbershop owner. Well, if we’re being honest, “small” might not mean what it used to mean in Temecula – for one, the traffic Temecula experiences during non-pandemic times makes it clear that its small-town days are long gone, and for another, Stews Barber Shop is a full-fledged local chain, with four locations between Redhawk and downtown Lake Elsinore, plus another one in Ladera Ranch. And that has, of course, colored his perception of the coronavirus emergency. In addition to being the mayor, he also knows what it’s like to be running a business right now. “Running,” of course, doesn’t mean a whole lot
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