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Craig James: US Senate Bid

December 20, 2011 by staff 

Craig James: US Senate BidCraig James: US Senate Bid, Former SMU football star turned ESPNanlyst Craig James made it official on Monday. He filed to run in the Texas Republican Primary for U.S. Senate on April 3.

James will face three candidates with more political and government experience: Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, and former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz. But James appears serious about this race.

He’s hired experienced, hard-edged, New York-based Republican consultant Arthur Finkelstein, and will also get campaign help from advisers who have worked for Gov. Rick Perry and presidential advisor Karl Rove.

James knows about running on a football field, but while visiting a friend’s cutting horse business in Celina, James told WFAA in an exclusive interview he’s ready to saddle up for a different kind of run for U.S. Senate.

“When they understand I’m living inside that economy right now; that, that I’m from Real Street and can provide an answer and an opportunity for them; I think that’s going to resonate,” James said.

James will take a leave from ESPN for his first jump into electoral politics. He’ll emphasize his working class upbringing by a single mother, and business experience in broadcasting, ranching and real estate.

Unlike his opponents, James has had no full-time government experience, but he views that as a plus.

“Government background, government experience, in my world today is not a good thing,” James said.

James became a lightning rod for controversy in 2009 over allegations that Texas Tech Coach Mike Leach mistreated his son, Adam, by ordering him to stand in a closet following a concussion.

It led to the termination of the popular coach.

“I don’t think it’s going to be a big issue at all, because people are going to understand the truth,” James said. “The truth is, we stood up for our son. We protected our son. We did what any parent who understood and knew what we knew at that time would have done. I don’t think people though really are looking for that. I think people in Texas want to know what can I do, what qualifies me to help them get a job.”

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