Longtime Irish football coach and ESPN analyst Lou Holtz is seriously considering a Congressional campaign against Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D-Fla.), first reported by the Orlando Sentinel and confirmed to POLITICO by a senior Republican operative.
Holtz met with National Republican Congressional Committee chairman Pete Sessions last week to express his interest in running for Congress. The meeting was initiated by Holtz, who flew up from Florida to meet with committee officials.
“It’s a lot more than most celebrity-type candidates do,” said the operative.
Holtz is expected to make his decision in the next several weeks.
Holtz is best-known for his coaching success on the gridiron, leading Notre Dame to a national college football championship in 1988, and later turning around the University of South Carolina’s football program before retiring to ESPN as an analyst.
If he runs, Holtz wouldn’t be guaranteed the GOP nomination. Republicans already have three credible candidates running for the seat – state Reps. Sandy Adams and Dorothy Hukill, and Winter Park Commissioner Karen Diebel. And at 72, Holtz would be one of the oldest members in the House – as a freshman (likely) in the minority.
Holtz, a longtime donor to Republican candidates and causes, stepped into the political spotlight in March, appearing on Sean Hannity’s FOX News show where he expressed his skepticism towards global warming and talked about the high tax rates in Europe. In a recent Sporting News profile, he said running for public office was number three on his “bucket list” — one of the things he wanted to do in his life.
Holtz’s consideration of a Congressional campaign comes as Sam Wyche, another former football coach, is mulling a campaign for Rep. Gresham Barrett’s seat in South Carolina.