William Kennedy Shearer (January 21, 1931 – March 3, 2007) of California was the chairman of the Constitution Party from 1996 to 1999. Earlier in 1967, he and his wife, the former Eileen Knowland, a cousin of Republican former U.S. Senator William F. Knowland, co-founded the American Independent Party to support former Alabama Governor George C. Wallace's 1968 presidential campaign.
In 1970, Shearer was the California AIP's first gubernatorial candidate in the race in which Ronald W. Reagan won a second term by defeating the Democrat, Jesse Unruh. Shearer received 65,847 votes (1 percent). Shearer died at the age of seventy-five in San Diego.
William Knowland, rather than running again for the U. S. Senate, lost the 1958 gubernatorial race to the Democrat Edmund G. Brown, Sr. Eileen Shearer was the vice-presidential candidate of the AIP in 1980; she ran with former U. S. Representative John Rarick of Louisiana's 6th congressional district. The Shearers' daughter, Nancy Spirkoff Chiasson, was the state chairman of the Constitution Party from 2004 to 2006.
- Candidate Biography
- WILLIAM KENNEDY SHEARER CALIFORNIA STATESMAN PUBLISHER AMERICAN INDEPENDENT PARTY FOUNDER
- William Shearer Dies
- William Kennedy Shearer (1931-2007) Archived May 16, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- Randall C. Stufflebeam on Bill Shearer Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
| Chairman of the Constitution Party
1996 – September 6, 1999