Home » NEWS » After string of losses, O'Hara sees himself as Senate 'protest vote'

After string of losses, O'Hara sees himself as Senate 'protest vote'

PoliticsHATTIESBURG — Shawn O’Hara has a perfect record in Mississippi politics — a string of more than a dozen losses over the past 25 years.

It is unblemished by a single win for mayor, congressman, senator or governor. Odds are good that 55-year-old Hattiesburg resident will keep his record intact this year as he runs for U.S. Senate.

O’Hara describes himself as a business consultant and motion picture producer, and is on the Nov. 4 ballot as the Reform Party candidate against six-term Republican Sen. Thad Cochran and the Democratic nominee, former U.S. Rep. Travis Childers.

“I do like Thad Cochran. I do like my Democratic opponent in this race,” O’Hara told The Associated Press. “Can I win this election? I’m getting a lot of phone calls from people saying, ‘I want to know about your campaign…..’ I believe will be the protest vote in this campaign.”

O’Hara has trotted out eccentric proposals in the past, including establishing a series of snow-cone stands to generate revenue for the state budget.

This year, as he runs another low-budget campaign, he proposes granting statehood to Washington, D.C., and five territories: American Samoa, Guam, the Virgin Islands the Northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico.

While he’s short on details of how to pay for these things, O’Hara says he wants to decrease prices for food and energy, invest in teachers and veterans, repair bridges and require equal pay for women and men who do the same jobs.

He also says he wants to abolish the U.S. Senate and restore Col. Rebel as the mascot at the University of Mississippi. School officials retired the bearded old man about a decade ago amid concerns that he was reminiscent of a plantation master.

“His job was stolen away from him by a liberal elite,” said O’Hara, who believes U.S. senators can choose a university mascot if the school takes federal money.

Mascot restoration apparently would have to be done before the Senate is disbanded.



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