Former reality television star Tareq Salahi may be on the campaign trail for Eric Cantor’s seat, but don’t bother looking for his name in the voting booth.
Salahi told Style on July 16 that he was awaiting validation of the signatures he collected in support of him appearing on the ballot for the 7th Congressional District. But the State Board of Elections sent Salahi an email July 7 informing him that he didn’t qualify.
The email says that of the 2,051 signatures Salahi submitted, only 480 could be verified as living in the district of the 1,000 needed to qualify. Rose Mansfield, executive assistant at the State Board of Elections, told Salahi he could have appealed the rejection at a July 15 hearing.
“He was not present, nor was any paperwork presented,” Mansfield says. “We have not heard from this gentleman.”
Salahi couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. But his campaign spokeswoman, C.C. Harris, says that the campaign never received a status update from the board. She says an inquiry from a Washington Post reporter was the first she heard of the rejection.
“We’re not trying to do anything out of turn,” Harris says. “The natural assumption was everything is fine. It’s frustrating for us.”
Regardless of ballot status, Harris says, Salahi will continue to campaign as a write-in candidate.