Howard was first elected to the House of Representatives as a Populist in 1894. He was reelected in 1896 but did not seek another term in 1898. Howard returned to his hometown of Fort Payne, Alabama to practice law.
In 1908, his name was put into nomination for the Presidency at the first convention of the Independence Party in Chicago, but he finished third in the balloting to Thomas L. Hisgen.
He moved to California in 1918 to pursue literary efforts, and worked briefly in the silent movie business. In 1934, he was one of the editors of The Awakener.