Tareq Salahi mulls bid for governor
April 25th, 2012
12:08 PM ET
10 years ago

Tareq Salahi mulls bid for governor

(CNN) – Famed White House party crasher Tareq Salahi has his sights set on crashing the governor's mansion in Virginia.

This time he plans to gain legitimate entrance as he is considering a candidacy for governor of the Old Dominion.

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Best known for showing up uninvited to a state dinner in 2009 with his now-estranged wife and "Real Housewives of D.C." star Michaele, Salahi announced his intention in a written statement from his spokesman.

"As a Virginia native for the last 42 years, I am troubled to see how our current political figure heads continue to waste tax payer dollars during these difficult economic times! I'm a big believer in limited government, keeping taxes, regulation and litigation low," Salahi said in the statement.

According to an application his spokesman sent to CNN, Salahi would run as a Republican.

The application, however, has an error, as Salahi filled in the wrong date for the November 5, 2013 election. His application says November 6.

As of late Wednesday morning, the State Board of Elections in Virginia has not yet received a declaration of candidacy from Salahi, a board spokesman confirmed.

The candidate form is generally not filed until January 1, 2013, at the earliest, Justin Riemer, the spokesman, noted.

He added the form must also be filed with petitions, signed by 10,000 registered voters in the state with a minimum of 400 from each of Virginia's 11 congressional districts.

This wouldn't be Salahi's first time in the public realm. He served on Virginia's Tourism Board from 2006 until the end of 2009, when then-Gov. Tim Kaine asked Salahi to resign after the White House incident.

Prior to his time on the tourism board, Salahi held a spot on the Virginia Winery Board, as his family, which owns several vineyards, had long been a major player in the state's wine industry. But the business fell on hard times, apparently under his and his wife's stewardship, resulting in a couple lawsuits and the bankruptcy of both the vineyard and the family's company.

Michaele recently drew headlines for a relationship with Journey guitarist Neal Schon. Salahi filed a missing persons report in September and appeared in tearful television interviews, claiming his wife had been kidnapped. The following day, however, Michaele confirmed she had been on the road with Schon.

Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican attorney general of Virginia, and the state's lieutenant governor Bill Boiling, are also running to replace current Gov. Bob McDonnell when his term expires.

In his statement Wednesday, Salahi's spokesman Eric Miller took a shot at Cuccinelli, saying the attorney general had wasted "huge sums of tax payer dollars on witch hunt type investigations," including a lawsuit Cuccinelli filed this week against Salahi over wine tour complaints.

Campaign finance records show Salahi has donated to both Republicans and Democrats.

Filed under: Bob McDonnell • Ken Cuccinelli • Virginia
soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. The Real Truth and Nothing But the Real Truth

    Sure, why not? Obama has turned politics into reality TV and a joke. Why is CNN posting this trash?

    April 25, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |

    No chance. If my boss ever decided to get into politics, he would win the governorship hands down. He's the most prominent businessman in Virginia. Not to mention he's buddies with the likes of Tim Kaine, Mark Warner, James Gilmore. Salahi is not connected like A.R.J.

    April 25, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    I have to give the man credit for courage. Most people would crawl under a rock after going through what he has over the past couple of years. After bungling the date on his application, maybe he will pursue that option.

    April 25, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Well, VA did elect an invasive procedure on women governor, so why not? Compared to the rest of the GOP clowns, Salahi may well be the brightest republican we have seen in decades.

    April 25, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  5. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Maybe Mittens can build a mansion near Virginia Beach, and he can run after his failed attempt at the presidency.

    April 25, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  6. some guy in New Hampshire

    And, other than being a self-aggrandizing publicity-seeker, his credentials for seeking this office are...

    April 25, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  7. Steven Colo

    If he can't fill out a VA application, that makes him equally qualified as Santorum and Gingrich.

    April 25, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  8. Marie MD

    Shouldn't this be under the entertainment section if anywhere because who cares?
    People really and truly have no self respect as long as they make money. Wow!

    April 25, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  9. JustAO

    Is it me or do people run for Republican party after they've had their 15 minutes of fame? If that's all it takes to be mayor, governor (Arnold Swazzanegger), congressman (Joe the Plumber), or President (Ronald Reagan) as Republican, no wonder they make laws that are based on reality TV behavior. None of them are highly educated or sucessful experts in anything that requires intelligence or fact based research, yet they run for office to write laws that affect millions of American lives. What's the hype?

    Just because you have a passion for office and some fame; doesn't mean you should be in office writing laws based on a narrow-minded and unempathetic view of the world.

    April 25, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  10. Bill

    This, from a loser who tried to auction off bath robes he took from hotels. Ok, bub.

    April 25, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  11. The REAL Truth.. (not the imposter)

    @JustAO – it's more than that. Note that none of them – other than Joe the plumber (and I have my doubts there) – would be considered "ordinary" people. They are all well to-do actors, lawyers or whatever. None are "poor" and most have no clue how the average American lives.

    April 25, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  12. Reggie from LA

    I guess that little "soiree crash" makes him a Washington insider. Does GOP VA want a Washington insider or someone who didn't even consider that Michaele had enough of him, then bailed out? He actually assumed that he is such a good mate that she would only leave him if she were kidnapped. He actually assumes that his ideologies make him a viable candidate? Well, we did kinda just go thru some primaries (ahem). Maybe he is a candidate after all.

    April 25, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |

    I don't think the voters in Virginia are so stupid as to pick him for governor. FloriDUH, yes, but not Virginia.

    April 25, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  14. Shirley

    Maybe he liked the looks of the White House when he crashed the State dinner for the India first couple and thought, "I'd like to live here!" But who would be First Lady?

    April 25, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  15. Ferret Out The BS

    Sounds like he's well qualified to be a republican, failed winery and all.

    April 25, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    You need TWO doctor's prescriptions, a background check, and a co-signer to get the "stuff" he's on.
    To just say"He's gotta be trippin'" wouldn't quite describe it.

    April 25, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  17. cali girl

    Oh yeah, this guy knows how to run a tight line on spending. "let's go crash the white house for a free dinner" is not a tight line on spending.Then there are the bankrupted business – es. plural. Please make this guy governor!

    April 25, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC


    Is it me or do people run for Republican party after they've had their 15 minutes of fame?
    I can't say for sure. All I know is this. Democrats wait until they accumulate 30-45 minutes of fame.

    April 25, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  19. Larry

    This loser was part of the Real Hosewives of DC. Pompous jerk looking for more than his 15....yawn.

    April 25, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  20. Jerry

    Who knows?! He may do a better job than our current White House resident is doing. I don't think he stands a chance, but look our Imperial President. Who knows!!!

    April 25, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Maybe he should move to Texas. They're open to electing morons – see George W and Rick – ummm – wait a minute – ummm.

    And of course he's for less litigation – because he screws indivuals and businesses by using their services and then not paying for them.

    April 25, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  22. Independant Texan

    Oh, GOOD GRIEF !!!!!! He`d make a fine Republican..............

    April 25, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  23. Sorensen

    This overweight, little psycho would fit in great in the GOP. Call Prairiebus!

    April 25, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  24. Sirned

    Serious problems and we get jokers like this that can't manage their own lives.....Haven't we had enough crazy Republicans yet? Vaginal Probe Governor of Virginia and now this dude..Republicans are embarrassing the Country with making a mockery of the electing qualified candidates....Republicans are now a certified party of nuts..

    April 25, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  25. Steve, New York City

    Tareq Salahi, Al Sharpton, Joe the Plumber, Sarah Palin . . .it amazes me how remarkably stupid people think that they are competent to hold public office.

    April 25, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
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