Run Peter Run

The dominating Ravens defense is now going to try and tackle a new arena: politics. And the good kind:

Former football player Peter Boulware announced his candidacy for the Florida House today, flanked by the next two speakers of that chamber. Boulware, a linebacker with the Baltimore Ravens for eight years after his FSU career, said he would spend most of his time over the next 15 months learning about the concerns of residents in the Leon-Jefferson County district.

State Rep. Loranne Ausley, D-Tallahassee, is term-limited out of the House next year. The district is heavily Democratic and has three Democrats running to succeed Ausley.

But Florida Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer turned out to welcome Boulware into the race, along with state Reps. Ray Sansom, R-Destin, and Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park. Sansom is speaker-designate for the 2008-10 term, and Cannon is in line to succeed him.

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They said they will make Boulware’s campaign their top priority next year.

“I care deeply about the issues facing Florida and the Panhandle, and I believe that I can be a strong voice for residents of our community and make a difference in public service,” Boulware said. He said he didn’t think being a Republican would be a disadvantage.

Boulware, who is an executive in a Tallahassee car dealership, said he grew up a Democrat but became a Republican when he became a father and businessman. Records show he registered to vote in the GOP in Leon County four years ago.

It’s not a surprise that so many retired athletes enter politics. And it is certainly not a surprise that so many retired athletes are active Republicans. Professional athletics provides many athletes the opportunity to practice good conservative values of teamwork, perseverance and individual responsibility. And the economic structure of professional athletics also (generally speaking) rewards athletes solely on the basis of their performance.

Just look a the professional athletes who enter public service. Very rare is it an athlete who enters the Democratic side of the aisle. Sure, there was Whizzer White and Bill Bradley, and Democratic supporters such as Mike Richter, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan. But take a look at the list of Republican leaders and supporters: Jack Kemp, Steve Largent, J.C. Watts, Mike Ditka, John Elway, Curt Schilling, Al Leiter, Steve Young, Brent Jones, Lynn Swann, Richard Petty, Jim Bunning, Walter Johnson, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Brooks Robinson, Matt Stover, Dorothy Hamill, Art Donovan, Todd Heap, Edwin Mulitalo, Tippy Martinez, and the list goes on and on and on.

And now, Peter Boulware enters the arena. Good for him, and good for the Ravens too because despite all of the hype this shows how well this organizations develops leaders. No wonder so many are Republicans…


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