Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
If Texas is feeling dull, dry, limp and lifeless, the state has just the candidate to give it new luster. Democrat Farouk Shami will have to overcome several obstacles, though, as the Austin American-Statesman reports:
HOUSTON -- With hundreds of supporters watching, businessman Farouk Shami leapt into the Democratic gubernatorial primary field Thursday with plenty of hoopla and a promise to spend millions more than his opponents will likely raise, but he will face obstacles that even money may not allow him to overcome.
For starters, he was born in what was then Palestine, has an unusual name and speaks with an accent. And even if voters get beyond all that, Democratic voters will surely notice that the hair care executive is an untested candidate who has written a number of checks to Republican candidates and causes.
"I would love to live in a state where the sort of issues he's going to face don't matter," said Harold Cook, a Democratic consultant who is not working for a gubernatorial candidate. "But we don't live in that state, and it's going to be tough for him to convince voters, even Democratic primary voters, that he's the appropriate standard-bearer."
Without question, Shami will face doubts because of his name, nationality and accent. Of course, if his name was, say, Mike Smith and he was born in Lubbock, he'd still face the question of why a hair-care products executive ought to be governor.
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