College football analyst and former Southern Methodist University star running back Craig James plans to run for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination in Texas.
Originally reported by the Dallas Morning News, James, a former running back for the New England Patriots, plans to run for the seat held by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Texas). Hutchinson will not seek re-election.
The 50-year-old ESPN analyst plans to file paperwork this week to enter the primary.
James, who is a Texas native, hinted he may run for Hutchinson’s seat as early as January 2010. He said he is concerned for the country in a WFAA-TV report.
“I disagree with the approach that we’re having, things that are taking place, and so whatever door opens up, I’ll look at it, if and when it opens up,” James said.
These reports contradict statements made by James last month.
He told Crystal Ball Run, a college football blog, that there are a number of business leaders in Texas who want him to run for office.
“But I love my current job and am heavily involved in college football and focused on my analyst responsibilities,” he told Crystal Ball Run.
James will go up against former Dallas Mayor, Tom Leppert and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, according to NBC News.
Earlier this year, James launched “Texas for a Better America,” a group designed to restore American ideals, according to Sports Illustrated.
Craig James first became famous as one half of the “Pony Express”, which featured him and Eric Dickerson at Southern Methodist University. He played at
the university during its successful years, before the team was crushed by college football’s “death penalty” among NCAA violations.
He is also known for his clash with former Texas Tech coach, Mike Leach. James felt that Leach mishandled his son, Adam James’ concussion injury.
The fallout led to Leach losing his job.
He played five seasons with the New England Patriots, having his best season in 1985-1986, when he went to the Pro Bowl. He rushed for 1,227 yards and played in Super Bowl 20. He also played in the USFL for the Washington Federals.