Former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is at the center of speculation regarding a possible career in politics.
According to Politico, Republican Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander has decided he won’t run for re-election in 2020. The report speculated that Manning, who played college football at the University of Tennessee, could run for Alexander’s seat.
Alexander told USA Today this week that he hasn’t made a final decision about this political future, but he also mentioned Manning.
“Everybody likes Peyton Manning, including me,” Alexander told USA Today.
The 76-year-old senator insisted, with the election still three years away, that he’s focused on his current legislative priorities, including health care reform and education.
Alexander has had a long career in politics. He served as governor of Tennessee and U.S. education secretary. He also served as president of the University of Tennessee—Manning’s alma mater.
Speculation regarding Manning began when the future Hall of Famer spoke at the congressional Republican leaders’ winter retreat in late January.
Manning hasn’t made any plans of a potential political career known publicly, and the Tennessee Republican Party hasn’t talked to Manning about a Senate run. The party’s chairman, Scott Golden, said the group hasn’t had “any political discussions with Peyton Manning.”
“Undoubtedly, he is a Tennessee hero and if he should ever choose to use his legendary determination, knowledge and drive in politics, he would be an extremely formidable candidate,” Golden said.
Alexander said he knows Manning but hasn’t discussed a potential Senate bid.