White House Party Crasher Now Trying to Crash Virginia Congressional Race
Notorious White House party crasher Tareq Salahi is back - and this time he's found another high-profile event to barge into: the race for Virginia's 7th congressional district.
Salahi told ABC News that he is planning to jump into the race and face off against Republican candidate Dave Brat who won a surprise primary victory against former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
He'll be running as a candidate of the Independent Green Party of Virginia, which describes itself as "fiscally conservative" and "socially responsible." The Independent Green Party advocates for fewer cars on the road and more trains.
Salahi said he turned in 3,000 signatures to the state board of elections two weeks ago and is waiting for the signatures to be validated, though his campaign is pushing forward in the in the meantime.
After an unsuccessful write-in campaign for Virginia's 2013 gubernatorial race, Salahi said he "transitioned right away" into launching a congressional campaign for Virginia's 10 th District.
"I had decided to run. Originally it was going to be in the 10 th district," Salahi told ABC News. "The Independent Green Party asked me to look at the 7 th because they were doing a lot of researching - that Cantor wasn't going to win it."
"My No. 1 platform is pro-jobs," he told ABC News.
Salahi and his ex-wife, Michaele, initially made headlines back in 2009 when they were accused of "crashing" a White House state dinner. The alleged "party crashing" was criticized as a publicity stunt for the Bravo TV show "The Real Housewives of DC," but Salahi insisted that he and his wife were actually invited to the event, albeit informally.
"You just can't do it. It's impossible to sneak into the White House," Salahi said. "We always knew that we were going to be a last-minute guest. We never got the formal invitation. We never said we got a formal invitation in the mail. We were very clear and upfront about that."
The Salahis were invited via email by Pentagon official Michelle Jones, Salahi said. However, an email thread obtained by ABC News in 2009 revealed that may not have been the case.
In this handout provided by the White House, President Barack Obama shakes hands with Michaele and Tareq Salahi …
Salahi maintains that the negative publicity will actually benefit his campaign.
"It's helpful that I'm recognized when I'm out on the tour," Salahi told ABC News. "It's actually a positive thing - whether it was the party crashing or the 'Real Housewives.' Because the young voters, they love it. They love it either way."
His campaign has even registered "crashthevote.com" as an official domain name for its website.
Regardless of the election's outcome, this likely will not be the last we hear from the infamous presidential party crasher.
"I'm not gonna stop," he said. "I'm a huge supporter of Virginia. I love my home state of Virginia. Win or lose, I'm gonna keep running. I will run in the race again in 2016 if I don't win this cycle."
- Politics & Government
- White House
- Tareq Salahi
- Independent Green Party