"Guitar Maestro" Tanning Salon Founder Runs for President

If casual Alex Jones viewers were to select their "Most Interesting Man in the World," it might be Daniel Boronico.
Queens, New York, native Daniel Boronico is throwing his hat into the U.S. presidential race as an independent candidate.
Queens, New York, native Daniel Boronico is throwing his hat into the U.S. presidential race as an independent candidate. Photo by Daniel Boronico
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Another orange-hued man from Queens appears to be running for president of the United States.

This time, he's a guitar-slapping, self-styled "pioneer of the 24-hour fitness industry" who believes a group of Luciferians is plotting to destroy humanity.

If casual Alex Jones viewers were to select their "Most Interesting Man in the World," Daniel Boronico might be the guy. A tough-talking and driven businessman, Boronico occasionally launches into a dialogue about depopulation in nearly the same breath as chatting about the limo business he claims to have acquired from Billy Joel in the 1980s (more on that later). Among his exploits, Boronico founded the Boca Tanning Club, which eventually became a franchise and partnered with Mike the "Situation" Sorrentino of Jersey Shore fame.

With no political experience on his résumé, but a dream to liberate Americans from corruption, Boronico has decided to throw his hat in the ring as an independent candidate for the 2024 presidency.

"I have been called upon from deep within my soul to use my God-given talents as an entrepreneur, a diplomat, a visionary," the 63-year-old says in his campaign video, wearing a suit with a red tie while seated on a couch. "As president and commander and chief of our military, I will be willing to sacrifice my life on every level for the freedom, safety, and well-being of our children."

What led this self-described "guitar maestro" and serial entrepreneur to set his sights on the White House? Falling down an internet rabbit hole, he says.

"That's what got me started on this political journey," Boronico tells New Times in a thick New York accent. "I says, I've got to run for president. I can't sit back and watch this happen, watch innocent people die."

Boronico says that as president of the United States of America, he will send "two-bit street dealers" straight to the "merciless chambers of death."

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Boronico was inspired to launch his candidacy sometime during the COVID-19 pandemic after reading on the webbernets that global elites surreptitiously planned the outbreak. He tells New Times his concerns about the vaccine (which he has called the "death vax") stemmed partly from his teenage daughter's allergies and his fear that she would have adverse side effects.

Some of Boronico's platform points include creating a separate "transgender division" for sports, protecting the Second Amendment, and waging a new war on drugs that will send "two-bit street dealers" to the "merciless chambers of death," according to his website.

Although some of the theories on his site appear to align with elements of the QAnon movement, he insists that he does not support the overarching conspiracy.

Between screeds about how billionaire Microsoft founder Bill Gates is plotting to exterminate millions of people in a 2025 planned pandemic, Boronico sounds like a compassionate fellow. He wants to expand no-kill shelters for pets, stop trophy hunting of wild animals, and give seniors at least $5,000 a month in social security. He describes himself as "a guardian angel ready to serve anyone who needs my help."

"I really don't like the direction the country is going in, and I believe I can turn it around. That's what I've been doing my whole life: turning things around," Boronico says.

Jack of All Trades

Boronico's story started in New York City, where he was raised in the Jackson Heights neighborhood of Queens and attended Bryant High School.

"Of Spartan descent and the nephew of a professional boxer, Daniel...developed a passion for boxing, a discipline that he credits for surviving the austere streets of New York City," his campaign profile says.

Boronico says he spent the early 1980s as a bouncer and studied health education at Queens College. The years that followed saw Boronico jumping from one industry to another as he strove to make his nut by snapping up business opportunities whenever possible.

"I choose entrepreneurship as a means to provide for my family, a trait inherited from my father."

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"I choose entrepreneurship to provide for my family, a trait inherited from my father. For the most part, I have earned my own paychecks since my early twenties through companies I either founded or acquired when they were at a low point," Boronico says.

After a stint in the real estate industry — reselling properties he bought at foreclosure auctions — he claims he "acquired Encore Limousine Company from entertainer Billy Joel." The limo company's clients included the Gap (clothing company), Continental Airlines, and the David Letterman Show, according to Boronico.
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Dan Boronico is joining a field of presidential candidates already crowded with Florida men.
Photo by Daniel Boronico

When reached by New Times and asked about Boronico and the limo company, Billy Joel's agent Claire Mercuri said, "We do not know anything about this."

The tale of Boronico in the Big Apple continued when he stirred up the city's fitness industry by acquiring Bell Plaza Health Club in Bayside, New York, and turning it into a 24-hour wellness center. Archival news coverage shows him planning to renovate the 15,000-square-foot building to include modern decor and a juice bar.

He then set his sights on taking the world of artificial tanning by storm.

By the early 2000s, he had founded Boca Tanning Club, which furled into a franchise and partnered with Jersey Shore's Mike the "Situation" Sorrentino. (Remember "Gym, Tan, Laundry"?) The decor of one salon featured on Boca Tanning Club's website is decked out in a forest theme, with dense foliage and a big, brightly colored tiger printed on the wall.

Boronico says he spent the next few decades expanding his tanning empire across Florida, opening various businesses, retiring twice, and at one point producing albums for Puerto Rican musician José Feliciano, singer of "Hi-Heel Sneakers" and the ubiquitous Christmas song "Feliz Navidad."

Boca Tanning currently has Florida locations stretching from Miami to Stuart, though Boronico says he no longer holds a stake.

Sing Us a Song

Boronico says he learned classical guitar starting at age 5 from his father and has been fiddling on his six-string ever since.

On his YouTube site, Boronico has posted renditions of Elton John's "Rocket Man," Stevie Wonder's "For Once in My Life," and Billy Joel's "Piano Man."

Boronico can carry a tune and plays with a sort of abandon and drive that some guitar players would envy. A listener might feel that he's strumming quite impulsively, without much attention to technical nuance — a style that sometimes plays in his favor but, in other instances, leads to unusual, jarring noises.

José Feliciano's wife, Susan, tells New Times that the singer did cross paths with Boronico.

"Thank you for your interesting query," Susan Feliciano says. "Though it comes as quite a surprise, we can only confirm that he shared a very brief association with José some years ago."

"Beyond that, we wish him well but will offer no further comment," Susan says.

Rough Patches

Boronico has powered through some difficult times over the last eight years.

In 2015, he went through a divorce from his longtime wife Jen, whose résumé is almost as dizzying as his: mixed-martial arts commentator, fitness buff, and rock guitarist for the band Pandia. The pair are still friends, and as cofounder of Boca Tanning Club, she's still involved with the business, having recently celebrated its 20th anniversary with Dan.

"His concept of 24 hours and all high-end equipment, set in a beautiful rainforest decor, with house music pumping, took off like we could have never anticipated," Jen Boronico wrote in 2022. "Before long, we had lots of celebrities tanning, and everyone was raving about us. Clients were asking to open their own Boca Tannings, and the franchise was born."

For a man with his hands in so many ventures, Boronico has had relatively few business disputes spill over into South Florida courts.

Since May, however, he's been facing one of the thorniest legal battles of his life.

In May, Wells Fargo filed to foreclose on his Broward home, claiming a $240,000 credit line secured by the property was in default. According to the court documents, Boronico took out the credit line, but the property was transferred to two other men.

The tanning guru claims his buddy refused to make the mortgage payments and instead turned the place into a drug den.

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Boronico filed a cross-claim this month, saying that he had been running into financial difficulties and transferred half of the property's equity to a friend who promised to assist with mortgage and property expenses.

The tanning guru claims his buddy refused to make the payments, instead turning the place into a drug den, where he started "selling and trafficking" narcotics. Moreover, the now-estranged friend hired a landscaper "to plant approximately $15,000 worth of trees at the subject property" and never paid the bill, Boronico claims.

Boronico claims he agreed to temporarily transfer the remaining 50 percent ownership of his property to the landscaper in light of the unpaid bill and the landscaper's pledge to help stop the criminal activity. The aspiring presidential candidate later asked the landscaper to return the ownership stake in the house, per their agreement, but the worker "refused to sign" the deed, "giving no reasonable explanation," according to the cross-claim.

The case is pending in Broward County court.

White House Bid

Boronico tells New Times he has yet to file paperwork with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) for his 2024 presidential run.

He's aiming to join an already choice field of Florida-based candidates, including former president Donald Trump, Gov. Ron DeSantis, and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez. In the running for the Democratic nomination is Boronico's fellow vaccine skeptic Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

If his candidacy fails, Boronico says he wouldn't support Trump, but Kennedy, who recently came under fire for his comments claiming that COVID-19 may have been engineered to target white and Black people while sparing Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese.

"I think if I was in a booth, and if it wasn't me, and I had to choose one of those guys, I would pull the lever for Robert F. Kennedy Jr. because he's a decent man," Boronico says.

As it stands, Boronico is making a run for it, and the slogan on his campaign site proclaims, "They are coming for our Freedom!"

"This is war, not of a battlefield, but of a spiritual world. The stakes could not be higher!" he exclaims.
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