ESPN broadcaster to run for Senate
December 19th, 2011
06:26 PM ET
11 years ago

ESPN broadcaster to run for Senate

(CNN) - Sports broadcaster Craig James will no longer work for ESPN as he runs for a U.S. Senate seat from Texas, the network confirmed Monday.

James, who frequently appeared on the network as a college football analyst, made the decision final on Monday's filing deadline, said Michael Humes, a spokesman for ESPN.

With four months left before the April primary, James made a late entry into a crowded GOP Senate race for the seat soon to be vacated by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in 2012.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, former solicitor general Ted Cruz, and former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert are among the Republican contenders vying for the seat, with some already having raised millions for their campaign war chests.

While James is a familiar name to college football fans, he'll face previous controversies bound to come up as he hits the campaign trail.

In 2009, James was tied to the ousting of popular Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach, who allegedly mistreated James' injured son, a player for the school's football team, according to media reports at the time.

"I don't think it's going to be a big issue at all because people are going to understand the truth, and the truth is we stood up for our son," James told television station WFAA, a CNN affiliate in Dallas. "We protected our son.

James also played as a star tailback for Southern Methodist University in Dallas during the early 80s.

Years later, the university was caught in a "pay-for-play" scandal that eventually led to the shutdown of the program from 1987-1988, according to The Dallas Morning News.

James lives in Celina, a small town north of Dallas known for its high school football team that boasts a record eight state championships. He also serves as a board member for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank in Austin.

On Friday, the state's Republican and Democratic parties reached and agreement to move the state's primary to April 3, but the proposal awaits approval by an U.S. District Court three-judge panel in San Antonio.

The state's Republican primary was originally set for March 6.

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Paul claims Bachmann 'hates' Muslims

S.C. governor rallies crowd for Romney

Filed under: 2012 • Kay Bailey Hutchison • Senate • Texas
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. ED FL

    Who is this Craig James? can't recall ever hearing of or seeing him anywhere.It appears thatnTexas has a state full of people that are big shots in Texas ,which means nothing outside of TEXAS. This country has had enough of Texas nobody's ,Bushes , Perry and several other nobody's outside of their State lines that have contributed nothing to the Nations benefits, what is one more.

    December 19, 2011 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  2. joe smith

    perhaps one of the first things he can do, is inform the American people about the vote for the National Defense Authorazation Act, which once again strips tha American people of their there no investagive reporters left in these United States..all we get is, will the new Korean leader be able to handle it, or who has the best chance to unseat Obama..lets find out who voted for this bill, and expose them..real reporting is non-existant..

    December 19, 2011 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  3. T'sah from Virginia

    His eyes actually smile, which says a lot. I just hope the TEA PARTY does not endorse him – that will spoil everything and then I will have to ignore trying to understand what he is all about...

    Obama 2012!!

    December 19, 2011 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  4. Noodle Nose Johnson

    Wow – empty suit runs for Senator of Texas. Coulda knocked me over with a feather.

    December 19, 2011 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  5. Logic in LA

    Imagine the Republicans have yet another celebrity running for office. And, he's young- he could be President by 2020 despite no background in business or politics!

    December 19, 2011 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |