The Dallas Morning News reported that ESPN announcer and former SMU football star Craig James will file his candidacy for Kay Bailey Hutchison’s senate seat by Thursday. James, who previously flirted with the notion in 2010 when Hutchison was thought to be resigning, is the founder of the conservative activist group Texans for a Better America.
“The promotional video for James’ organization plays out as an elongated campaign advertisement, hitting all of the political sweet spots on his biography and ideological stances,” wrote Amanda Sakuma of Texas on the Potomac, before noting that “even with the momentum from highlighting his “God-given talents” and conservative values, James would still have an uphill battle in the Senate race against well-known (and very wealthy) Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz, and former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert.”
These days James is staring down another scandal, one involving his son Adam James, the Texas Tech player who was allegedly mistreated by former head coach Mike Leach. In the eyes of Leach and many Red Raiders fans, Craig James led the charge against Leach, who was eventually fired. Earlier this year, Texas Monthly’s Paul Burka reported on a poll which found that James was less popular with the people of Lubbock than President Barack Obama. (The reason for the poll was never publically revealed; it could have been for another senate hopeful, or it could have been related to Leach’s lawsuit against James and Texas Tech.)
In part because of his involvement in the Tech affair, James is also an unpopular announcer. As Deadspin noted, when ESPN Game Day went to the big LSU-Alabama game in Tuscaloosa last month, somebody held up a giant “ FIRE CRAIG JAMES” banner ( #firecraigjames is also a popular Twitter hashtag).
“James has a modest intellect, speaks purely in vapid cliches, displays a smarmy bonhomie, works back-room channels like a snake and played football in the Southwest Conference,” wrote Ty Duffy of The Big Lead. “He’s shameless. He’s a natural name-dropper. In short, he’s the ideal Texas Republican candidate.”