Shawn O'Hara seeks 8 state jobs at once

Published: Feb. 18, 2007 at 7:18 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 9, 2007 at 8:53 PM CST
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Shawn O'Hara wants to be Mississippi's

governor.

He also wants to be the lieutenant governor, attorney general,

secretary of state, treasurer, auditor, agriculture commissioner

and insurance commissioner.

The self-described business consultant and movie producer from

Hattiesburg - a perennial but so far unsuccessful fixture on the

state political scene - filed papers with the Mississippi

Democratic Party this past week to run for all eight statewide

offices. He also paid the required candidates' fees of about

$1,800.

Officials in the attorney general's office say there's nothing

in Mississippi law to prohibit a candidate from running for more

than one office at a time.

The chairman of the state House Elections Committee, Rep. Tommy

Reynolds, D-Charleston, says there would be a problem with one

person serving in more than one full-time, statewide elected

position.

"I don't think that's going to be tested," Reynolds said,

assessing O'Hara's chances of winning multiple offices.

Reynolds also said: "You're generally better served to run for

one position."

March 1 is the deadline for candidates to qualify for a host of

state offices in Mississippi, from governor to state representative

to county supervisor.

Terry Cassreino, spokesman for the Democratic Party, said the

party's executive committee will meet March 10 to determine which

candidates meet the qualifications to appear on ballots.

Just because someone files papers and pays the required fee to

run, "that doesn't mean that they're qualified," Cassreino said.

For example, a candidate for attorney general must be a

practicing attorney. O'Hara is not one.

Last year, two chancery judges ran for re-election while also

competing for a seat on the state Court of Appeals. They lost the

Court of Appeals races; each was unopposed for re-election to the

lower court.

A bill being considered this legislative session would ban

someone from seeking more than one office at a time. It has passed

the Senate and awaits consideration in Reynolds' committee.

Reynolds said he'll study it.

O'Hara, 49, has run unsuccessfully in the past four

gubernatorial races under various party labels. He also has run

unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate and House and for mayor of

Hattiesburg.

This year, O'Hara's 110-word campaign platform includes reducing

gasoline prices, eliminating the grocery tax and outlawing

homework.

Mississippi's party primaries are Aug. 7. The general election

is Nov. 6.

The bill is Senate Bill 2056.