Republicans had some better news today, when retired Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro Wide Receiver Lynn Swann announced his intention of seeking the GOP nomination for Governor of Pennsylvania.
A Hall of Famer who played for the Steelers 1974-1982, Swann still lives near Pittsburgh. He has worked as a football commentator for ABC Sports since his retirement from football in 1983.
If elected, the 53-year-old Swann would be Pennsylvania’s first black governor. He faces three other candidates in seeking the Republican nomination for governor – his first run for political office. The other contenders, still in the race, at the moment, are former Lieutenant-Governor William Scranton III, State Senator Jeffrey E. Piccola, and Jim Panyard, the former director of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association. The winner of the May 16 primary will probably face current Governor Ed Rendell, a liberal democrat,who is expected to seek a second four-year term.
Swann planned to kick off his campaign with a Wednesday night rally in Pittsburgh, followed by appearances in Altoona and Scranton on Thursday, and in Philadelphia, Allentown and Lancaster on Friday.
His announcement did not come as a surprise. A political committee has been raising money for his campaign for nearly a year, though he was the last of four known Republican hopefuls to make his candidacy official.
A very large portion of Pennsylvania is Steeler country, and a black Republican candidate is unlikely to fail to make inroads on the democrats’ PA urban bases. Ed Rendell is probably going to wind up looking just like the unfortunate defensive player in the photo above.