Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Anthony Gonzalez, former Ohio State University football star, files to run for Congress in Ohio

In this 2007 file photo, Anthony Gonzalez announces at a news conference that he is entering the NFL draft rather than returning to Ohio State University to play for his senior season. Gonzalez, an Avon Lake native, has filed paperwork to run for Ohio's 16th Congressional District in 2018.(Kiichiro Sato, Associated Press)

By Andrew J. Tobias
September 2, 2017

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Former Ohio State University football star and Cleveland-area native Anthony Gonzalez has filed official paperwork to run for Ohio's 16th congressional seat in 2018.

A filing received by the Federal Election Commission on Aug. 28 lists Gonzalez' address as an apartment in Crocker Park, the Westlake outdoor shopping complex. Since retiring from the National Football League and receiving his MBA from Stanford University, Gonzalez, 32, had worked for an education technology company in the San Fransisco bay area. But he recently moved back to Ohio to prepare to run for the seat, which is up for grabs since the incumbent, Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, is running for governor rather than seek re-election.

The FEC paperwork lists a home in Dublin, Ohio, as Gonzalez' campaign office. The home belongs to Gonazlez' campaign treasurer, Natalie Baur, a Republican operative who worked last year as finance director for U.S. Sen. Rob Portman's re-election campaign.

The filing makes official what was previously reported by -- Gonzalez, who graduated from Saint Ignatius High School, in recent weeks has been laying the groundwork to try to transition into politics, which has included meeting with the National Republican Congressional Committee in Washington, D.C. Despite the filing, Gonzalez still has not officially announced he is running or publicly revealed his campaign team.

The unusually shaped 16th District, which is considered a safe Republican seat, includes Wayne County, and portions of several others, stretching from rural suburbs east of Akron and up to Cuyahoga County's western suburbs.

Other Republicans running for the seat include Stark County State Rep. Christina Hagan and Strongsville State Rep. Tom Patton. On the Democratic side, Aaron Godfrey of North Olmsted, a first-time candidate whose campaign website describes him as a scientist, has filed to run.

Gonzalez was not known for being outspoken about political issues during his time at OSU and his five-year NFL career, which was cut short due to injuries. He graduated from OSU with a degree in philosophy and was an Academic All-American. He was selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the first round of the 2007 NFL draft.

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