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Don’t forget about Farouk

Tom Schieffer has been running for Governor for several months. Hank Gilbert made a fairly high-profile entry recently and has been doing well in earned media since. Kinky Friedman – well, never mind. The race on the Democratic side is already interesting whether or not Ronnie Earle ever jumps in. But there’s another player out there, and he wants to be taken seriously as well.

Houston hair-care businessman and millionaire Farouk Shami is getting serious in his race for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

Shami has hired Houston political consultant Dan McClung and California pollster Ben Tulchin to help him start pulling a campaign message together.

McClung has a long history of working in successful Houston mayoral campaigns and state legislative races. His last statewide race was Paul Hobby’s near-run loss for state comptroller in 1998.

“He believes when people get to know more about him, they’ll take him seriously,” McClung said.

Four things:

1. I have a pretty good idea at this point of what to expect of Schieffer, Gilbert, and Kinky. I know nearly nothing about Shami. I look forward to hearing what he has to say. If nothing else, having a broader, and hopefully deeper, field of candidates will be beneficial for the eventual nominee as well as for the party as a whole. As long as we can keep from sinking into Republican levels of discourse, of course.

2. We know Shami has a ton of money, and he could easily spend his opponents into oblivion if he chose to. But it’s important for him to raise money as well, as that’s a good indicator that people other than himself think he might be a good nominee for Governor. He could win on just his own money, but I daresay that would not be a good outcome.

3. Hiring McClung does suggest that Shami intends to be a serious player. Still, gazillionaire first-time successful-businessman candidates often go through consultants like tissue paper, as they often have their own ideas about how to run a campaign, and aren’t always amenable to being told what to do. That’s by no means what will happen, but it bears watching. The more consultants Shami has had by the time March rolls around, the less well I’d guess he’ll do.

4. Having said that, as long as Shami avoids this kind of self-inflicted injury by hiring a competent consultant like McClung, I’ll consider it a win for him.

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6 Comments

  1. Scuttlebut says:

    A little birdie told me that he has also hired Lone Star Strategies for compliance and fundraising.

  2. Patricia A, Jones says:

    Mr. Farouk Shami (the 66 year old Palestine born American & founder/chairman of Farouk Systems Inc. [hair products]) should tend to his hair care business! There IS one good thing here-Farouk won’t be able to run for President. That would be a novel difference from most of the folks who become Governor of Texas.

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