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Yahoo.com: Lynn Swann Says He'll Run for Pa. Governor


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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060104/ap_on_el_gu/swann_governor

By PETER JACKSON, Associated Press Writer

51 minutes ago

Former Steelers star Lynn Swann declared his candidacy for Pennsylvania governor Wednesday in the city where he made his name in professional football.

He told The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday afternoon that he made up his mind to run in the fall, after spending months weighing support at events around the state.

Swann, a Hall of Fame receiver and longtime TV football commentator, faces three other candidates in seeking the Republican nomination for governor — his first run for political office. The winner of the May 16 primary would likely face Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell, who is expected to seek a second four-year term.

If successful in his first bid for political office, Swann would become Pennsylvania's first black governor. His announcement was no surprise: His political committee has been raising money for his campaign for nearly a year.

Swann, 53, planned to kick off his campaign with a Wednesday night rally in Pittsburgh, followed by appearances in five other cities Thursday and Friday.

The Steelers won four Super Bowls during Swann's nine-year pro career with the team. He has worked for ABC Sports since his retirement from football in 1983.

Swann said he put off a formal announcement until now to avoid conflicts with his ABC Sports duties.

If elected, he said he would not resume his broadcasting career even on a part-time basis. Rendell moonlights as a Philadelphia Eagles post-game analyst for Comcast SportsNet in Philadelphia.

"I think the people of Pennsylvania would rather have a governor who is committed to being there," Swann said.

Swann has so far revealed little about his political philosophy or the initiatives he would pursue as governor. He has advocated reducing certain business taxes and said he opposes abortion rights.

In independent polling, former Lt. Gov. William Scranton III and Swann are running ahead of the other two GOP candidates, but behind Rendell.

Swann said Wednesday that he hopes to convince blacks that he is a better candidate than Rendell, the former Philadelphia mayor. The Democratic Party has "taken the African American vote for granted," Swann said.

G. Terry Madonna, a pollster and professor at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, said Swann needs to convince voters that he has ideas and the leadership ability necessary to turn them into policy. He could benefit from disenchantment with the state and national governments, Madonna said.

"Voters are looking for fresh faces," Madonna said. Swann "has a personal story to tell that's compelling."

The eventual GOP nominee could get a big boost Feb. 11, when the Republican State Committee meets to consider endorsing a candidate. On Wednesday, Scranton wrote Swann to ask him to participate in several debates before the meeting. Swann said he would be happy to participate in debates.

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I saw Swann in an interview on Fox News leading up to the 2004 election and I was very impressed with him. He was co-chairman of the African-American Committee to Re-elect George Bush. He mentioned in the Fox interview, like he does in this article, that Democrats have been taking the African-American vote for granted and that he was going to do whatever he could to change that. Anyone on this board from PA should take a serious look at him. The only knock against the guy I can see so far is that he's a former Squeeler player. ;)

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OK so I don't live in PA and have no vested interest in their race for governor, but I heard an interesting email on the Tony Kornheiser show today that I thought you guys might get a kick out of.

A guy wrote in talking about the game in Philly years ago against the Cowboys where Jimmy Johnson got absolutely pelted by snowballs on his way off the field. He said there was a wealthy lawyer in the stands right beside him offering money to anybody who could get a solid shot on Johnson or another Cowboy. That man? Ed Rendell.

I guess everyone has some redeeming qualities....

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