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Craig James runs for US Senate, leaves ESPN

Published: Monday, Dec. 19 2011 3:35 p.m. MST

FILE - In this March 13, 2011, file photo, college football analyst Craig James is seen in Lubbock, Texas. James, who starred as a tailback at Southern Methodist University and with the New England Patriots in the 1980s, announced Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 he was running for the U.S. Senate as a Republican from Texas, a GOP fundraiser said. James would be running for the 2012 Senate seat being vacated by retiring Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison.   (Geoffrey McAllister, File, Associated Press) FILE - In this March 13, 2011, file photo, college football analyst Craig James is seen in Lubbock, Texas. James, who starred as a tailback at Southern Methodist University and with the New England Patriots in the 1980s, announced Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 he was running for the U.S. Senate as a Republican from Texas, a GOP fundraiser said. James would be running for the 2012 Senate seat being vacated by retiring Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison. (Geoffrey McAllister, File, Associated Press)

AUSTIN, Texas — Craig James has left his position at ESPN as a college football analyst to run for the U.S. Senate in Texas.

James announced Monday he was running. After his announcement, ESPN said he could no longer work for the network because he had chosen to enter politics.

James told The Associated Press he would run as a conservative Republican and work to fix the broken political system in Washington. He also touted his personal history and business experience.

James had been a star a tailback at Southern Methodist University and with the New England Patriots in the 1980s. Though James' name recognition could be an advantage, it also could hurt him.

He is a polarizing figure who was embroiled in Texas Tech University's 2009 decision to fire football coach Mike Leach.

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