Report: ESPN’s James to run for Senate

Former SMU running back and now TV analyst Craig James will run for the Republican US Senate nomination in Texas, The Dallas Morning News reported Tuesday.

James, 50, reportedly plans to file the necessary paperwork to enter the primary by the end of Thursday.

James, a college football analyst for ESPN, plans to run for the seat currently held by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), who will not seek re-election.

The Jacksonville, Texas, native was a star running back at Southern Methodist University in the early 1980s. He went on to play five seasons with the New England Patriots, and rushed for 1,227 yards in 1985 when the team went to Super Bowl XX.

James established Texans for a Better America, a conservative nonprofit organization, earlier this year.

The group’s website says it is devoted to "reconnecting people with the values, ideas, and founding principles that have not only made Texas the envy of our nation, but would transform our country."

In early 2010, James indicated he was getting involved in politics and hinted he may pursue Hutchison’s seat.

"I’m a Texan. I’m concerned for our country," he told WFAA-TV. "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."

Late last month, James denied rumors he would be leaving ESPN to run for office.

"There are a significant number of strong business leaders in Texas that want me to run for office," James said in a statement to the college football blog, Crystal Ball Run. "But I love my current job and am heavily involved in college football and focused on my analyst responsibilities."