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Dem. Candidate for Gov. Can't Name State Officials

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    NBCDFW.com
    Farouk Shami, a Houston hair care magnate making his first run for office, couldn't name the state's comptroller, attorney general or his own representatives during an Austin American-Statesman newspaper editorial board meeting.

    A Democrat running for Texas governor couldn't name the state's comptroller, attorney general or his own representatives during a newspaper editorial board meeting, the Austin American-Statesman reported Friday.

    Farouk Shami, a Houston hair care magnate making his first run for office, was asked a series of questions about Texas government during the Thursday meetings.

    Asked whether he could name the state comptroller, Shami said, "Not at this point." Republican Susan Combs is the comptroller.

    Asked who the attorney general is, Shami answered that he knows who is running: "Barbara" and "Ted Cruz."

    Republican Greg Abbott is attorney general and is running for re-election. Barbara Ann Radnofsky is a Democratic candidate for attorney general. Ted Cruz is a Republican who last year announced his intention to run but never filed.

    Asked to name his state representative and state senator, Shami answered that his representative is Senfronia Thompson and his senator is Sylvester Turner.

    Although Shami, 67, has factories and his corporate headquarters in Houston's Harris County, he's registered to vote in bordering Montgomery County. Neither Thompson nor Turner represents Montgomery County. Turner, who like Thompson is a Houston Democrat, is a state representative.

    "I'm a good reader," Shami said. "I follow politics nationally and internationally and locally all the time ... I've been watching it -- not inside it."

    Shami campaign manager Vince Leibowitz called the meeting "a police interrogation."

    "Many Texans don't know the answers to these questions," he said. "The Statesman is trying to make Farouk Shami look like a rube when he really is not."