Tareq Salahi gained fame crashing a White House party and now he's looking to crash a U.S. House race after the primary loss of former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
Salahi confirmed to Richmond, Virginia's "Style Weekly
" that he is jumping into the Virginia 7th District House race for Cantor's seat.
Salahi, 45, formerly ran the Oasis Winery in Front Royal and plans to open a brewery this fall. He told Style Weekly that he's gathered the signatures required by the state to put his name on the ballot, running as a candidate for the Independent Green Party of Virginia.
He was a previous candidate twice in Virginia, once seeking a gubernatorial nomination against Ken Cuccinelli and as a candidate for a House seat in the 10th Congressional District.
"We're taking the advantage of my television career and converting folks who aren't sure how they're going to vote," Salahi said of his campaign.
He added that his personal experiences mining both success and defeat, make him well-suited to understand future constituents. "I've made millions and I've been through difficult times. The elite candidates can't say that. They were born with a silver spoon in their mouths. I've been through all of it. That's what you have to go through to understand the hard times people are going through in District 7."
Salahi, a University of California Davis grad, gained fame when he and his former wife Michaele crashed a 2009 White House state dinner, USA Today noted
. The stunt, where the couple contended that they were invited, occurred as a part of their appearance on a Bravo network reality show, "The Real Housewives of D.C."
In recent months, he has reportedly weathered a storm in his local town where angry neighbors from the Front Royal Mosby Overlook Estates community sought an injunction against Salahi to keep him from renting rooms in his home to tourists.
A judge denied their request and the case is set for trial, according to the New York Daily News
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