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Another Democratic gubernatorial hopeful

Well, you can’t say that the Democratic cast of characters for Governor lacks characters.

Rick Perry might not be the only candidate in the 2010 race for Texas governor who is known for great hair.

As the Republican governor with famously spiffy locks seeks re-election, the head of a Houston hair products company that Perry recently touted says he might be running for governor — as a Democrat.

Farouk Shami, 66 , founder and board chairman of Faorouk Systems Inc., hosted Perry at his company’s headquarters in July for a news conference announcing the company’s decision to move manufacturing facilities from South Korea and China to Texas, bringing 1,200 jobs to Houston. Perry called Shami, who was born in what was then Palestine, someone “who pretty much embodies the American dream.”

“Inspired by the freedoms we enjoy, he was drawn to this state,” Perry said at the news conference, a video of which is posted on the governor’s Web site. “He’s built a life of significance and an organization that is respected around the world. His is the story of Texas.”

Now, Shami, who has never run for office, is pondering a run to replace Perry, though their philosophies sound similar. Shami says he wants to bring jobs to Texas and avoid raising taxes. He said Perry “is a wonderful person” but lacks business experience.

“I have the capability to run the state as a business,” said Shami, whose shampoos, hair dryers and flat irons are sold around the world under the BioSilk and CHI brands. “People are tired of politicians.”

Yeah, the name “Tony Sanchez” is popping into my head, too. Given what Perry said about Sanchez during that campaign, one can only wonder what he might say about Farouk Shami in this one.

Shami donated more than $24,000 to [Kinky] Friedman’s independent campaign for governor in 2006, when Friedman referred to Shami as his Palestinian barber. Now, Shami said Friedman doesn’t seem serious.

Well, I can’t argue with that last part. At least he’s able to learn from his mistakes.

On a much less colorful note, Burka touts former Speaker Pete Laney as the Democrats’ best hope in the Governor’s race. I have a lot of respect for Pete Laney, and if he got into the race I’d certainly consider him. It’s not clear to me why Burka thinks Laney’s support for George W. Bush in the 2000 election would be any less a problem for him than Tom Schieffer’s Bush connection, but I suppose Burka was addressing the general election and not the primary. I’m far from sold on the need or the wisdom of having a rural candidate as the nominee – I think the marginal gains in rural counties may not be enough to overcome a lack of enthusiasm for a rural white guy in the urban, heavily non-Anglo Democratic base, and I tend to agree with Greg that the place to be looking for persuadable voters is the suburbs. I also take issue with Burka’s assertion that Laney isn’t just the Dems’ best hope, he’s the only hope. Among other things, I’m hearing from more and more people who think KBH may back out of the Governor’s race, in which case you’d have Bill White and John Sharp in a non-existent Senate campaign; surely White would represent a stronger hope than Laney, or anyone else for that matter, and I’d rank Sharp above Laney as well. Be that as it may, if this is more than wishcasting, I’m certainly open to hearing more. But get back to me after I’ve heard it.

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7 Comments

  1. jph says:

    Charlie, you’ve got to say more about this offhanded suggestion that KBH may back out. You sort of buried the lede there. What do you know? Of course, there seems to be good reason for her to do it – why throw millions at a race that she seems to have already squandered. But, still, that’s a pretty stunning piece of breaking news.

  2. JPH – It’s not news, just speculation. Folks I talk to, mostly Dems, who have seen her crappy campaign and the lousy poll numbers and don’t think she has the stomach for this kind of fight think she might reconsider her options. She’s never been all that committal about resigning (you know where I stand on that), so why not take the next step and go back to DC? Probably wishful thinking on our part, but there it is. Anyway, it’s not news.

  3. Baby Snooks says:

    The Texas Democratic Party is a joke at this point. Kinky is obviously in the race to ensure Democrats go to vote against him in the Democratic primary instead of voting for Kay Bailout Hutchison in the Republican primary. Which is her only hope of winnning the primary. Even then she might not win. Some Republicans would simply not vote. Quite a few actually. She is what you call a dead horse. No matter how she tries to revive herself. She has angered too many on too many things changing her positions from one day to the next depending on which audience she’s speaking to. She’s liberal, moderate and conservative. Depending on the audience. In the end, she’s nothing.

    Having watched all the meanderings and the way everyone stabs everyone else in the back as soon as their back is turned I fully expect Kay to announce her withdrawal the day after the filing deadlines which will leave Bill White with nothing to run for. Not that he would win.

    Having dealt with some of them in a “personal way” all I can say is I am thoroughly enjoying watching them devour each other.

    Sadly the net result will be Rick Perry for four more years.

  4. Mike says:

    Kinky’s in the race to sell books, cigars and tickets to fundraisers.

  5. […] which Governor candidate for the Dems would pair with Katz to make the most colorful combination, Farouk Shami or Hank Gilbert. I’m not sure I want to go […]

  6. […] the Kuff discusses the latest entrants into the Texas Governor’s […]

  7. James says:

    Farouk’s got my vote!

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