Farouk Systems founder may challenge incumbent
Farouk Shami, 66, founder and board chairman of Faorouk Systems Inc., is pondering a run to replace Texas Governor Rick Perry. Shami says he wants to bring jobs to Texas and avoid raising taxes. He said Perry "is a wonderful person" but lacks business experience.
"I have the capability to run the state as a business," said Shami, whose shampoos, hair dryers and flat irons are sold around the world under the BioSilk and CHI brands. "People are tired of politicians."
Shami has filed paperwork designating a campaign treasurer but said he hasn't decided whether to run.
As Perry heads into a Republican primary battle with Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, Shami would join a Democratic field that includes humorist Kinky Friedman, former state legislator Tom Schieffer, former statewide candidates Hank Gilbert and Mark Thompson and educator Felix Alvarado.
Shami donated more than $24,000 to Friedman's independent campaign for governor in 2006, when Friedman referred to Shami as his Palestinian barber. Now, Shami said Friedman doesn't seem serious.
In 1986, about three decades after his arrival in the United States, Shami invented ammonia-free hair color products after discovering he was allergic to ammonia. That was the start of his company, which went on to become the official hair care sponsor of the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants. The Houston Chronicle reported in 2008 that Farouk's sales the year before were $1 billion.