FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 2, 2015
Shawn Howard Announces Senate Candidacy
Shawn Howard, a conservative businesswoman and former public school science teacher, announced today that she is a candidate for the Republican nomination in Senate District 13.
Howard, 48, is a long-time Ada resident who is making her first bid for elective office. The seat is currently held by Democratic incumbent Susan Paddack who is term-limited in 2016. The senate district covers parts of Garvin, Hughes, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie and Seminole counties.
“Oklahomans deserve a government run on conservative, small-government principles that leave citizens free to pursue a living while still fulfilling basic duties such as public safety and transportation,” Howard said. “They also deserve lawmakers who will stand up for basic morality and family values. If elected, I promise to be a hard-working legislator who will be a conservative voice for the people of this district.”
Since 2005, Howard has been an environmental programs manager for the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, where she helped develop a Tribal Comprehensive Water Plan, worked on tribal energy initiatives, and assisted in the Tribe’s efforts to comply with federal environmental regulations.
“Having dealt extensively with the Environmental Protection Agency, I know how federal agencies work and recognize the need to reduce federal overreach in Oklahoma,” Howard said. “I have the knowledge and expertise to help the state of Oklahoma address environmental issues from a common-sense conservative business standpoint, and will fight against the heavy-handed, extreme, liberal standpoint that is often forced upon states without consideration of local needs.”
In her current position, Howard has also developed and managed multimillion dollar budgets, work she believes has prepared her to thoroughly scrutinize state government spending as a member of the State Senate.
From 1998 to 2003, Howard was a science teacher and science department chair in the Ardmore and Lone Grove Public Schools. She delivered lectures and hands on, lab-based instruction to students for courses such as Advanced Placement (AP) Biology, Pre-AP Biology, Environmental Science, and Chemistry. “It is critical that our state lawmakers find ways to keep good teachers in Oklahoma,” Howard said.
Howard is also a small business owner. She operates Bella Marie’s Boutique in The Mix Mercantile in Sulphur. “A strong, vibrant economy is essential in order to make certain good-paying jobs are available to hard-working Oklahomans regardless of what part of the state they live,” Howard said.
Howard is a member of the Ada Chamber of Commerce and the Pauls Valley Chamber of Commerce. An ardent supporter of Second Amendment rights, Howard is a member of the National Rifle Association.
Howard earned her undergraduate degree from East Central University majoring in biology with minors in chemistry and physics. She did paralegal studies at the University of Oklahoma College of Law and later earned a Master of Public Health degree with an emphasis in environmental health from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Howard is a pro-life, conservative Christian who is a proponent of Bible-based marriage. She and her husband, Kenny, are long-time members of First Baptist Church in Ada and currently attend Crossway First Baptist Church in Sulphur. Howard is active in the community, and has previously been a Sunday school teacher, taught Vacation Bible School, led the church youth choir, been a sponsor for the Junior High Student Council in Lone Grove Schools, and coached YMCA youth basketball.
Among her accomplishments, Howard was Mrs. Oklahoma in 1991 and a Mrs. America semifinalist the following year.
The Howards have been married for 29 years. Kenny is a district community affairs manager with OGE where he has worked for the past 30 years. The couple have two adult sons who are both married. One son is pursuing a career in law enforcement and the other is a medical doctor.
Howard’s father, Jerry Stewart, was Oklahoma Director of Veterans Affairs in the 1980s and had a 30-year career with the department. He had a combined 20 years of service as Assistant Administrator and then Administrator of the Veterans Center in Sulphur.
“I look forward to visiting with my friends and neighbors in the days ahead, sharing my conservative vision for Oklahoma,” Howard said. “I have been blessed to live and work and raise a family in rural Oklahoma, and I believe my background and experience will make me a strong, effective voice for the citizens in District 13.”