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Taking Party Crashing to the Next Level

“Real Housewives of D.C.” co-star Tareq Salahi has decided to own his infamy, organizing a “Crash the Candidate” barbecue as the opening salvo in his bid for the Virginia governor’s mansion.

Salahi, who burst onto front pages after being accused of crashing a 2009 White House state dinner, has struggled a bit lately. His family winery shuttered. His reality show got canceled. And he and his wife, Michaele, went their separate ways after she fled to the open arms of one-time friend and Journey guitarist Neal Schon.

Shedding that baggage appears to have given Salahi the opportunity to redirect his energies toward his latest mission: saving fellow Virginians from intrusive government.

Campaign staff said Salahi has wrestled with overregulation throughout his career, pinning the death of Oasis Winery on overzealous zoning. They touted his stints on the Virginia Winegrowers Advisory Board and Virginia Tourism Authority — positions he held under past Govs. James Gilmore, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine — as evidence of his political savvy.

In a nod to his noteriety, attendees at Sunday’s fundraising event — at 5 p.m. at his Front Royal home (440 Scenic Overlook Drive) — are invited to pose for pictures with Salahi in front of a faux White House backdrop.

At least one observer believes Salahi is selling himself short.

“He is a pompous, delusional blowhard, and yet he has the audacity to claim he is qualified to be Governor the Old Dominion,” a pseudonymous online critic posted in comments sections of multiple websites. “Sounds to me like he is good U.S. Congress material.”

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