Farouk Shami Campaign Team Shakeup

Only one week after officially filing to run in the 2010 Democratic Party gubernatorial primary,  Houston  hair care magnet Farouk Shami has announced that he’s  hired several  new political consultants to manage his campaign.


I’m not personally familiar with his new team members,   but they seem like people who have experience running viable political campaigns in Texas and throughout the country.

It’s clear that  Shami has the money to pay an experienced staff and run a political machine, but  most campaign analysts  consider him the underdog in the primary race against  Houston Mayor Bill White.

Can Shami’s new team help him and his message gain traction and respect with voters throughout Texas?

The following is a news release that I received from the Shami campaign: 

 Shami Campaign Announces New Team

HOUSTON-Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Farouk Shami today announced that he has assembled a top-tier senior staff and consulting team for his primary campaign.

The hires include a new campaign director and senior strategist, new additions to the Shami communications team, and a new media buyer and media buying firm.

“I am very excited about the team we have put together in the last week. I am proud to be working with these men and women. We have all the elements of a winning team,” Shami said.

Vince Leibowitz will join the team as Campaign Director and Senior Strategist. He most recently served as Communications and Policy Director for Hank Gilbert’s gubernatorial campaign, and worked statewide in 2008 as Campaign Director for Dale Henry’s campaign for Texas Railroad Commissioner, in addition to working a number of other races as a staffer and consultant. In addition to the appointment of Leibowitz as Campaign Director, Jamilah Shami was appointed Deputy Campaign Director.

Kelly Love Johnson will join Shami’s campaign as Communications Director through a contract with Austin-based Broad Street Interactive. Kelly recently served as the Communications Director for the Linda Ketner for Congress campaign in South Carolina, and has extensive experience in journalism and new media.

Joining the communications team as Press Secretary for Rapid Response is Charlie Ray, also through Broad Street Interactive.  Ray is widely known as the author of the political blog “Pink Dome,” which had a successful run from 2005 through 2008. Charlie is now CEO of Broad Street Interactive, a digital media agency based in Austin.

Joining the campaign as the media buyer of record for television, radio, and online media, is Fortune Media, headed by founder Ondine Fortune. Ondine is recognized as one of the nation’s top experts in media planning and buying for politics and public affairs campaigns. Fortune Media enjoyed a 41-9 win ratio on behalf of its campaigns in the 2008 election cycle. Nicole Bouda, Vice President of Media Buying for Fortune Media, will also be working with the campaign.

The Baughman Company joined Shami’s campaign last week to handle direct mail. Its previous clients include former presidential candidates Howard Dean and Hillary Rodham Clinton as well as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Strategic Telemetry also joined Shami’s campaign for predictive analytics and microtargeting work. The firm recently performed similar services for President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

Also joining the Shami team is Progressive PST, a company founded by longtime netroots activists that offers professional Twitter campaign tools which were recently used by the “No On 1” campaign in Maine to recruit volunteers, donors, and help drive the online debate. Progressive PST’s client list includes Joe Hoeffel’s gubernatorial campaign in Pennsylvania, David Krikorian’s congressional campaign in Ohio, and Lois Herr’s congressional race in Pennsylvania.

The new additions to the Shami team join general consultants Robert Jara and Dan McClung; pollster Ben Tulchin of Tulchin Research; media specialists Tad Devine and Julian Mulvey of Devine Mulvey; and Lone Star Strategies, who handles compliance for Shami’s campaign. The new staff additions join Shami’s existing team including Jessica Gutierrez as Public Relations Director, and Scott Emery as Executive Outreach Director.

Additional team members will be forthcoming between now and December 31.

One Response

  1. Gov. Farouk and I had a great first meeting . I am looking forward to our next !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Let’s win !!!!!!!!!!!!

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