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RJ Harris
Personal details
Born Richard Jason Satawk Harris
November 16, 1972(1972-11-16) (age 49)
Riverside, California, U.S.
Political party Republican (Before 2011)
Libertarian (2011–2013)
Independent (2012–2013)
Democratic (2013–present)
Spouse(s) Jennifer Friend
Alma mater University of Oklahoma
Website Official website

Richard Jason Satawk "R. J." Harris (born November 16, 1972) is a United States Army National Guard warrant officer, politician, law student and former Air Traffic Controller. He was a candidate for the Libertarian Party's 2012 nomination for President of the United States. In 2010, he unsuccessfully challenged incumbent Tom Cole for the Republican Party nomination in the primary election for Oklahoma's 4th congressional district. He ran as an independent candidate for the same congressional seat in 2012.

On August 3, 2013, on his Facebook page, he announced that he would be running for the 2014 gubernatorial election in Oklahoma as a Democrat in order to advance the libertarian cause in a way that transcends traditional party lines.[1] Harris withdrew his candidacy in that race on January 14, 2014.[2]


Harris was born November 16, 1972.[3] His father, Richard Michael Settainte (White Bear) Harris, is a physician for the Kiowa people.[3] His parents split while he was still young, and he settled with his mother, Deborah Jill in Arizona, where she remarried and renamed him Jason Sam Barnes after his stepfather.[4]

In the early 1990s, Barnes married Jennifer Friend, with whom he has five children. After learning about his name change early in life, Barnes decided to adopt his birth name and permanently moved to Oklahoma, where he currently resides. His wife and children changed their names as well.[4]

Harris has worked as an air traffic control platoon leader and officer the Army National Guard since 1989[3] and opened two gaming stores in Gilbert, Arizona, which closed in 2001, a fact Harris attributes to the post-9/11 recession. As a result, he was forced to file for bankruptcy, which was cleared by 2004.[4]

Harris has an undergraduate degree in Philosophy from the University of Oklahoma, and has studied law at the University of Oklahoma College of Law.[3]

Political career[]

2010 US congressional campaign[]

The Republican Liberty Caucus endorsed Harris in his 2010 campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives. In that race, he received 9,592 votes for 22.7% of the vote in the Republican primary against incumbent U.S. Representative Tom Cole, who won the nomination.[5][6][7][8]

2012 US presidential campaign[]

In August 2011, Harris announced his candidacy for the nomination of the Libertarian Party (LP) for President of the United States in the 2012 election.[9][10][11]

He ended his presidential campaign in April 2012, citing a lack of sufficient fundraising as well as his decision to run for Congress again in 2012.[12][13]

2012 US congressional campaign[]

On April 11, 2012, the same day he withdrew his candidacy for the LP presidential nomination, Harris announced that he would make a second bid for Oklahoma's 4th District Congressional Seat in the 2012 Congressional election, again challenging incumbent Tom Cole.[12] Harris ran as an independent in this race. He received approximately 4.5% of the vote and placed third in the vote total behind Cole, who won re-election, and the Democratic nominee Donna Bebo.[14]

2014 OK gubernatorial campaign[]

On August 3, 2013, Harris announced his intent to run for the Oklahoma governor as the Democratic candidate in the 2014 Oklahoma gubernatorial election. Prior to this announcement, the Democratic Party had yet to field a competitor to incumbent governor Mary Fallin.[1][15]


On January 14, 2014, Harris announced that he was officially ending his campaign. He then endorsed the candidacy of Oklahoma Representative Joe Dorman in the gubernatorial race.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Brewer, Graham Lee (November 5, 2013)"Democratic candidate files to run for Oklahoma governor against Mary Fallin", NewsOK
  2. 2.0 2.1 Brewer, Graham Lee (January 15, 2014). "R.J. Harris, Democratic candidate for Oklahoma governor, drops out of race". The Oklahoman. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "R. J. 'Chief' S. Harris". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved June 1, 2013. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "LP-Pres: Allegations from 2010 concerning RJ Harris’ past, and Harris’ response". Independent Political Report. November 23, 2011. Retrieved January 7, 2012. 
  5. "Republican Liberty Caucus 2010 Endorsed Candidates: Oklahoma". Republican Liberty Caucus. Retrieved March 29, 2010. 
  6. Associated Press (April 12, 2010) "Congressional candidate to deploy to Afghanistan", Times Record News. Retrieved January 30, 2012.
  7. Miller, Ken (July 21, 2010) "Okla. guardsman wants to unseat incumbent rep.", Associated Press. Army Times. Retrieved January 30, 2012.[dead link]
  8. "Summary Results: Primary Election — July 27, 2010". Oklahoma State Election Board. Retrieved January 30, 2012. 
  9. "R.J. Harris – Libertarian for President in 2012". Independent Political Report. August 26, 2011. Retrieved January 30, 2012. 
  10. Davis, Chris (August 30, 2011) "Oklahoma man running for president", KRMG. Retrieved January 30, 2012.
  11. McNutt, Michael (October 1, 2011) "Norman man seeks Libertarian Party's presidential nomination", The Oklahoman. Retrieved January 30, 2012.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "RJ Harris Ends Campaign for LP Presidential Nomination". Independent Political Report. April 11, 2012. Retrieved April 12, 2012. 
  13. McNutt, Michael (April 13, 2011). "Norman man changes goal from president to congress". The Oklahoman. Retrieved April 13, 2012. 
  14. Albin, Ty (November 7, 2012) "Voters call on Cole to return to Congress", The Lawton Constitution. Retrieved November 28, 2012
  15. "RJ Harris announces intent to run for governor as democratic candidate". OBAR. August 3, 2013. 

External links[]

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