‘Power Resides With the People’: John O’Shea’s Congressional Run

John O'Shea
John O'Shea | Image by John O'Shea/Instagram

John O’Shea’s turn to politics came about as a result of an episode of civil disobedience he engaged in during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

He described the policies that were enacted at the time as “heartbreaking and cruel” — policies that kept him from direct contact with his wife, who is disabled, forcing him to see her and speak with her through a window screen.

What was his reaction?

“This is not only wrong, but I will not consent, and I will not comply,” he said.

O’Shea is currently facing a May election against Rep. Craig Goldman (R-Fort Worth) in the Republican primary for Texas’ 12th Congressional District — a seat currently held by Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), who is not seeking reelection.

A graduate of TCU and UT Austin, O’Shea was raised in Fort Worth and spent 20 years in the community banking industry. He currently owns and operates a construction company specializing in sand and gravel.

O’Shea told The Dallas Express that the Trump presidency made him more interested in politics than he ever was before. He said he saw problems not just with Democrats but with some Republican leaders as well.

“The powers that be right now … don’t serve the average working-class, middle-class citizens, which is why they hated President Trump because, for the first time, he gave them a voice,” O’Shea said.

He went on to note that one of his top priorities was securing the southern border, which has been beset by record-high levels of unlawful migration.

“This is a willful dismantling of this country by allowing an illegal invasion. The Republican part of the establishment wants cheap labor and expanded consumer markets,” he told DX. “That first and foremost needs to be fixed.”

O’Shea said that Congress has the power of the purse and can make the necessary changes to secure the southern border. He was critical of U.S. House Republicans for not taking bolder steps to secure the border.

“People are more worried about offending the press right now than they are offending their constituents, or even more so of offending God,” he said.

O’Shea also expressed concerns about the state of the economy.

“[People’s] fuel prices go up, their rent, they can’t afford a mortgage right now because of rising interest rates,” he said.

According to O’Shea, the federal government is spending too much and has a deficit problem that needs to be tackled. He said that balancing the budget and halting money printing is on his agenda, explaining how mass unlawful migration factors into the economic situation being faced by lower-income and native-born Americans.

“You have illegal aliens driving down and suppressing working-class wages. At the same time, the money that they make is worth less, so this economy is a dumpster fire,” O’Shea told DX.

He also criticized taxpayer spending being directed to the war in Ukraine, arguing that the federal government should put the needs of the United States before another country.

“They are more concerned about shoving money off to Ukraine than they are with taking care of the people here. We are not taking care of our veterans. We are not taking care of the homeless with their drug addiction,” O’Shea said. “We have crumbling infrastructure with $35 trillion in debt and nothing to show for it.”

O’Shea said he would push to try to make the United States energy independent and would block any measures to expand renewable energy to combat climate change, calling such policies a scam. He also said he would push for more fundamental government reforms.

“The government needs to be reined in. It needs to be reduced in size, and the proper balance needs to be returned so that it truly serves the people,” he told DX.

When comparing his platform with his opponent’s, O’Shea said, “I’m an America First absolutist … [Goldman] puts the optics out there that he is conservative.”

“Craig Goldman voted to impeach … Attorney General Ken Paxton, the best attorney general in the country,” O’Shea told DX, noting that his opponent helped lead the impeachment effort against Paxton. The Texas Senate subsequently acquitted the attorney general of various charges of misconduct.

O’Shea also talked about SR 35, which proposed a constitutional amendment clarifying that a person must be a U.S. citizen to vote in Texas elections. Such a policy should not have been controversial among Republican lawmakers, according to O’Shea.

“It died in the House because … Goldman, along with several other Republicans, voted with the Democrats to vote present as opposed to voting in favor of it. Craig Goldman has all too often scratched backs with the Democrats to the detriment of his constituents,” O’Shea argued.

When asked about his reaction to the Texas Republican primary results on March 5, O’Shea said he believed people were sending a message to Republican officials that they want change.

“They’re tired of being played,” he said. “Why is the [Texas] House being run as if it’s a Democratic-controlled institution? The people have spoken.”

O’Shea told DX that the Republican Party was changing, not just in Texas but at the national level. He referred to the ouster of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Ronna McDaniel resigning as chair of the RNC.

“The office is not the power. The office is the privilege to serve the people,” O’Shea told DX.

When asked how his faith has played a role in his life and politics, O’Shea said, “I was so outraged by the direction the country was going and saddened and furious by what kind of country I was leaving behind for my kids and grandkids.”

“I’m a flawed human being willing to humble myself and serve in God’s name and purpose,” he added.

O’Shea said people told him that he was “crazy” and that he would never beat Goldman. Despite being outspent, O’Shea has made it to the runoff election.

“The thing that the government doesn’t want you to realize is the power resides with the people,” O’Shea told DX. “They are the owners, and they are in control … [and] they are unstoppable.”

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