Elections day 2018 is here, and athletes aren’t just showing up at the polls some of them are on the ballot. There has been a sizeable shift in the last few years on athletes using their platform to promote social and political issues, even in the face of ‘Shut up and dribble’ campaigns.
There are five former NFL players who are running for election or re-election today and hoping to ignite change within their communities.
Anthony Gonzalez is running for a U.S. House of Representatives seat in the 16th district of Ohio. The former Colts wide-receiver is running as a Republican after five seasons in NFL where he caught seven career touchdowns for Indianapolis. After his time in the NFL Gonzalez graduated with his MBA from Stanford and moved back to Northeast Ohio with his wife, Elizabeth. You can find more information on Gonzalez’ first campaign here.
Results: Gonzalez won a seat in the House for the 16th district of Ohio defeating Susan Moran Palmer.
Napoleon Harris is running as a Democrat in Illinois, where he hopes to continue representing Illinois’ 15th district in the State Senate. Harris was a dual-sport athlete at Northwestern, playing basketball and football. He then went on to play seven seasons as a linebacker in the NFL with the Raiders, Vikings, and Chiefs. Harris’s best season came in 2007 with Kansas City when he accounted for 82 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and an interception. Harris has held the State Senate seat for Illinois 15th district since 2013, and you can find more information on his campaign here.
Results: Harris ran unopposed and will continue to serve the 15th district in the State Senate.
Aaron Rouse is running for Virginia Beach City Counsel unaffiliated with a party. Rouse played defensive back for Virginia Tech in college before going on to play three seasons in the NFL where he picked up two interceptions in each of his first two years. After his time in the NFL Rouse returned home and immediately got involved in the Virginia Beach community. Before running for office, Rouse started a local non-profit to serve young students in need. Click here find out more about Rouse’s campaign.
Results: Rouse won one of the two at-large Virginia Beach City Council positions.
Colin Allred is running as a Democrat for a House seat in Texas’ 32nd district. Before running for office in North Texas, Allred played Linebacker at Baylor and went on to play for five seasons with the Tennessee Titans where he had 46 combined tackles in his career. After the NFL, Allred became a civil rights lawyer and even worked as an attorney for President Obama before running for office. Find out more about his campaign here.
Results: Allred won a seat in the House representing the 32nd district in Texas outing 11-term congressman Pete Sessions.
Clint Didier is running for Franklin County Commissioner in Washington. Didier played eight seasons in the NFL and won two Super Bowls with the Redskins before moving back to Washington where he farms and has a radio show. Today marks Didier’s fifth attempt at running for office after losing the previous four races he entered. Didier does not have a website with his campaign information.
Results: Didier won the Franklin County Commission election, his first win in five tries. He defeated Zahra Roach, a first-time candidate.