White House Party Crasher Tareq Salahi has decided against a challenge to Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for the nomination for governor in the upcoming Republican State Convention. Salahi will instead forge ahead as a Republican, but do so as he calls it "independently".
"Pandering to extremist agendas is alienating voters from both parties," Salahi said in a statement. "I want to rise above the fray of the career politicians and their partisan agendas and give the people of Virginia a strong voice again."
Back in December Salahi told me about the challenge he faced in a GOP convention, which traditionally brings out the die-hard members of the party who generally are the most conservative. At that time his plan was to contend in the convention, but if he was unsuccessful he was ready to carry on as an independent."I am in it to win it. I am going to keep my name on the ballot regardless of what happens at the convention," he said.
Salahi needs to collect 10 thousand signatures in order to gain access to the ballot. He is not the only Republican considering an indpendent bid. Lt. Governor Bill Bolling is also still seriously considering a run as an independent.
On the Democratic side, businessman and former DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe appears poised to capture the nomination.
My full interview with Salahi from December can be found below. He talks about how difficult the convention process may be around the 7:45 mark.
Salahi's full statement can be found after the jump
Salahi Announces he will continue run as Republican
Salahi collects signatures and will be on the Ballot for Governor of Virginia as a Republican Independently.
(January 14, Richmond, VA.) On the eve of the deadline to submit contracts to participate in the "closed" Virginia GOP Convention, Candidate for Governor, Tareq Salahi announced this morning that he will be on the Ballot for Governor of Virginia as a Independent Republican. Citing his Republican opponent's characteristic undemocratic and back door tactics used to advance his own personal political career and to secure the Republican nomination by robbing Virginian's of their rights, Salahi stated.
"Even Republicans we hear from are weary of the GOP's growing inability to produce a candidate with enough bipartisan appeal to win a general election. Pandering to extremist agendas is alienating voters from both parties. I want to rise above the fray of the career politicians and their partisan agendas and give the people of Virginia a strong voice again. We need jobs and a governor who will be an advocate for the people, not more government intrusion into our wallets and our personal lives. My opponent has consistently advanced his own career and political agenda against the will of the people."
Salahi has already started collecting the 10,000 signatures required to be on the ballot, a task his opponents in the Democrat and the Republican party will avoid fulfilling, but one which he welcomes. He has officially dedicated the next several months of his campaign to his "Listening Tour" throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.
"We know how important every single vote is going to be in this race. We are traveling across the Commonwealth and listening to everyone who wants to be heard. We want to hear what people from all walks of life and in every corner of Virginia have to say, across all different industries, the job creators and job seekers, our military leaders and troops alike. We want to put the power back in the hands of the people and job creators in Virginia!" Salahi declared.
Salahi has also officially launched his fundraising campaign effective this new year and has a new website, www.crashthevote.com available in both English & Spanish - the fist Governor Candidate to do so in this race.
To schedule Salahi to stop in your community, attend your event or for interviews, contact Media@crashthevote.com or Andrea@crashthevote.com or for faster response and day of requests, contact the campaign hotline: 310-384-2481.