Birth Place: Canton, MS, United States
Residence: Hattiesburg, MS
Religion: Southern Baptist
Shawn O'Hara was born in Canton, Miss., and resides in Hattiesburg. He received two bachelor's degrees and two master's degrees from William Carey University.
O'Hara is a perennial candidate in Mississippi, having run unsuccessfully for a host of offices, including governor, state treasurer and U.S. representative. In 2012, he is running for U.S. Senate.
He has written dozens of self-published books.
O'Hara and his wife, Amanda, have a grown daughter.
Shawn O'Hara is a familiar name in Mississippi politics because he has run for several statewide offices under a variety of party labels, but he has yet to win an election.
In 2012, O'Hara is running for U.S. Senate as a Reform Party candidate. He is challenging Republican Roger Wicker, who has been in the Senate since late 2007. Others in the race are Democrat Albert N. Gore Jr. and Constitution Party candidate Thomas N. Cramer. Wicker had $2.3 million in his campaign fund as of June 30, 2012, according to the Federal Election Commission website. O'Hara, Gore and Cramer had not filed campaign finance reports.
O'Hara ran for Mississippi governor in 1991, 1995, 1999 and 2003. He ran for the U.S. Senate in 2008, losing in the Democratic primary. He has run for the U.S. House more than once, most recently in 2010. He ran for state treasurer in 2011.
O'Hara attempted to run for governor and state treasurer in 2011, but the state Election Commission removed him from the governor's race. State law prohibits a candidate from seeking more than one office at a time, and it specifies that a candidate who attempts to do so may run only for the office for which he most recently filed. The law was enacted in 2007 in response to O'Hara, who had attempted to run for several local offices in Forrest County and for all eight statewide offices, from governor to agriculture commissioner.
In 2007, the Democratic Party told him to pick one race to run in. O'Hara appealed to circuit court, and a judge eventually told him to pick one. O'Hara ran for treasurer and lost.
Among his campaign ideas over the years: lowering gas prices, making alternative fuel by turning corn into ethanol, providing free college courses over the Internet, free adoptions and putting prisoners to work.
Source: Associated Press