By Erin Mulvaney
AUSTIN , Dec 19 (Reuters) - ESPN analyst and
former professional football player Craig James filed as a
Republican candidate for U.S. Senate on Monday, entering a Texas
race already packed with well-financed and high-profile
James is seeking the Senate seat being vacated by Senator
Kay Bailey Hutchison, the Texas Republican, who is retiring.
Several prominent Texas Republicans have been campaigning
and raising money for months including Texas Lieutenant Governor
David Dewhurst, former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, and former
Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz, a Tea Party favorite.
Also on Monday, former Texas state representative Paul
Sadler filed to run for the seat as a Democrat. Ricardo Sanchez,
the retired Army lieutenant general who had been the only
prominent Democrat in the running, withdrew from the race on
James filed with the Republican Party of Texas in Austin,
according to the party.
James, 50, lives in a Dallas suburb. In the 1980s, he played
for Southern Methodist University, the Washington Federals and
the New England Patriots.
In 2009, he was involved in a controversy surrounding the
firing of Texas Tech University football coach Mike Leach when
he said his son, who played for the team, was mistreated after
James serves on the board of the Texas Public Policy
Foundation, an influential conservative think tank in Austin,
and founded Texans for a Better America to promote conservative
(Editing by Corrie MacLaggan and Greg McCune)
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