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Shawn O'Hara

Shawn O'Hara
Personal details
Born 1958
Political party Democratic Party (United States)
Other political
Reform Party

Shawn O'Hara (born 1958) is a perennial candidate for public office in Mississippi. He was the national chairman of the Reform Party, and a frequent candidate on their ticket. He has since become a member of the Democratic Party.

He is probably best known for his frequently running for mayor of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He has sought the office in 2005 and 2009.[1][2]

O'Hara first ran for Governor of Mississippi in 1991 as the Reform Party candidate. He received 11,253 votes, or 1.58%.

He ran as the Reform Party candidate for United States Senate in Mississippi in 2000.[3] He received 7,315 votes, or 0.74% of the vote.

In 2002 he ran for the U.S. Senate again and was the lone challenger to Thad Cochran. He received 97,226 votes, or 15.42%.

While a member of the Reform Party, O'Hara supported the candidacy of Ralph Nader as presidential candidate in 2004, O'Hara said he hoped Nader could spoil the election: "I’m doing everything I can to make sure John Kerry never gets around the White House."[4] This sentiment, and the fact that O'Hara was a supporter of the Ku Klux Klan's Samuel Bowers,[5] and his statements that he had once favored the execution of abortion doctors, put O'Hara odds with other Reform Party members.[6]

In 2003 he was the Reform Party candidate for Governor of Mississippi and received 4,070 votes for 0.46% of the vote.

In 2007 O'Hara ran as a Democrat for state treasurer and received 284,789 votes (39.47%).[7]

O'Hara sought the Democratic Party nomination for the United States Senate in 2008, however, he was defeated in the primary by Erik R. Fleming 65.8% - 34.2%.[8]

The Majority in Mississippi blog predicts he will run in 2010 or 2011, saying: "[O'Hara is a] perennial candidate will try to run for something- if not everything- in 2011. He tried qualifying for every statewide race in 2007 as a Democrat but they decided to let him be the sacrificial lamb who would face Tate Reeves...."[9]

O'Hara ran for the seat in Mississippi's 3rd congressional district as a Democrat.[10]

Much to the chagrin of Reform Party members, O'Hara returned to their party in 2011. He announced he would run for governor on their ticket, and also filed to run for state treasurer as both a Democrat and a Reform Party candidate.[11][12] He received 26,290 votes, or 3.01%, in the race for state treasurer.

In Mississippi's 2012 election for U.S. Senate, O'Hara ran as the Reform Party candidate and received 13,194 votes, or 1.06%.


  1. ^ Northway, Wally (May 11, 2009). "Mayoral races throughout the state offer surprises".  
  2. ^ "Headlines". Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  3. ^ "2000 Congressional Candidates".  
  4. ^ "The Reform Party: A Hollow Structure Casting Big Shadow for Nader Campaign" (Press release).  
  5. ^ LaMasters, Byron (2004-08-30). "Nader in bed with KKK Apologists". Burnt Orange Report. Archived from the original on 2006-06-02. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  6. ^ Janofsky, Michael; Kershaw, Sarah (2004-07-01). "Odd Alliances Form In Efforts to Place Nader on the Ballot". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  7. ^ "Certification of Vote for State Office of State Treasurer".  
  8. ^ "2008 Statewide Democratic Primary Results".  
  9. ^ "The 2011 Players (the Democrats)". Majority In Mississippi. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  10. ^ Crisp, Elizabeth (2010-03-02). "26 vie to represent Miss. in Congress".  
  11. ^ "In Mississippi, Democrats run in only 5 of 8 state wide races". The Associated Press. 2011-03-01. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  12. ^ "2011 Statewide Candidate List". Majority In Mississippi. 2011-03-02. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
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