Early Thursday morning candidates running for various offices in Montgomery County thought the media had finally noticed them as they worked the Woodlands early voting location. Starting about 9 am various media outlets, ABC, Channel 13, Channel 2, AP, Chronicle, Channel 11 and several others started pulling into the parking lot.
They were there for the arrival of Farouk Shami the Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate for Texas.
Shami who lives in The Woodlands was born in Palestine and moved to Houston in the 1970’s with $71 in his pocket. He started Chi a haircare product company which spread to a billion dollar worldwide corporation.
In 1986 he started the company which when he signed a distribution deal with Austin based Armstrong-McCall.
Four years ago he and partner John McCall invested in Kinky Friedman’s run for Governor. Shami added over $24,000 and McCall $1.3 million to Friedman’s treasure chest.
He arrived with a driver and was escorted to the polls by two women.
The Election Judge was quick to stop the media from crossing the one hundred foot marker but didn’t notice as one of Shami’s assistants walked into the building carrying a “Farouk For Governor” sign under her arm.
As he emerged from voting wearing his red “CHI” shoes and stopped to talk with the media.
“I’m not a politician,” Shami said, “a politiciangives lip service. Politicians come to the people asking for their votes, asking for money and you never see them again ’til they need our votes and our money.”
He said that as soon as he gets in office he will begin fixing potholes, the roads, parks.
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Since the start of the race he has had many setbacks. He made headlines for controversial statements he made about race – Shami called his primary opponent, Bill White, “racist” for mentioning he was “born in San Antonio”, said in a debate that, ” without Mexicans it would be like a day without sunshine” and later said he finds white people don’t want to work in factories. Shami has been strong with the teens and has spent more than $6 million on his campaign which was mostly for media.