Tareq Salahi, White House 'crasher,' wants to be governor of Virginia
Tareq Salahi, who starred on the short-lived "Real Housewives of D.C." with wife Michaele after the two were dubbed White House gate "crashers," wants to run for governor of Virginia.
The 43-year-old, whose wife famously left him for Journey drummer Neal Schon, resides in the state and told The Washington Post that he plans to run in the gubernatorial election as a Republican in retaliation for a lawsuit brought against him and his wine business by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II, another GOP hopeful.
Salahi had previously supported Democratic causes. The attorney general's filing, submitted to a Virginia court on Monday, claims that Salahi's company, Virginia Wine Country Tours, did not provide adequate services for its customers. Salahi told The Washington Post that he had not seen the suit but that the matter "sounds like a witch hunt."
Salahi also dealt with legal trouble earlier this year. In February, he agreed to a settlement over a case brought against him by the state involving alleged improprieties in a charity he ran. He did not admit to any wrongdoing but he and the group were fined more than $30,000.
"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!" he said in a statement to CNN. "I'm a big believer in limited government, keeping taxes, regulation and litigation low."
The news outlet said Salahi has yet to submit a declaration of candidacy to Virginia's State Board of Elections and has until Jan. 1, 2013 to do so. He must also hand in a petition signed by 10,000 registered Virginia voters, including at least 400 from each of the 11 congressional districts, it said.
Salahi and his wife rose to fame in 2009 after they were accused of entering a White House banquet without an official invitation. They denied they "crashed" the event but were criticized heavily by many press outlets and on blogs. The couple later appeared on "The Real Housewives of D.C.," which was canceled after one season.
In September 2011, Salahi reported his wife missing. She had left him to be with Neal Schon. He then received an email from the Journey guitarist with a photo attachment of the musician's genitals. Salahi filed for divorce that month and in February 2012, he sued his wife and the rocker, accusing her of abandonment and adultery and claiming that the pair's relationship ruined business opportunities for him.
The Salahis have no children together. They are still engaged in a legal battle. Salahi's wife is still dating Schon. The two starred in a new Journey video for the single "Resonate" and recently attended the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival together.