Tareq Salahi To Crash Virginia Governor Race

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — White House gate crasher Tareq Salahi says he will run for governor of Virginia.

He plans to file as a Republican and it comes days after another GOP candidate for governor, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, sued Salahi and his winery. The suit claims they cheated customers who bought winery tours.

And the northern Virginia vintner’s declaration of candidacy is meaningless until Jan. 1. State law prohibits the State Board of Elections from accepting the declarations until the year in which the elections are scheduled, said board senior official Chris Piper.

Salahi and his wife, Michaele, created concern about the Secret Service’s effectiveness when they showed up uninvited at a White House state dinner in 2009, and were able to meet President Barack Obama. The notoriety landed Michaele a role in the reality television series “Real Housewives of D.C.,” which was canceled after one season.

In more attention grabbing last year, Tareq Salahi reported that his wife had been abducted. But she had actually run off with Neal Schon, the lead guitarist for Journey. A $50 million lawsuit Tareq filed against Michaele over the breakup was dismissed.

Online celebrity site TMZ first reported Salahi’s declaration for governor.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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