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Former Canes DL Jackson declares candidacy for Florida House Seat

Abbey Radeka

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Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The first 2020 Democratic Presidential Debate is tonight, but that’s not the only political development happening in Miami. Former Miami Hurricanes player, Demetrius Jackson, has left the football field to enter the political field, and run for Miami-Dade County’s House District 109.

Jackson played primarily, as a reserve defensive lineman for the University of Miami, and in his four years with the Canes, he played in 39 games, recorded seven sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss.

The former lineman will propose a challenge to incumbent, James Bush III, as he may be a newcomer to politics, he is certainly known among the area. The Miami native graduated from Booker T. Washington High School and stayed in South Florida for college. Jackson graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in political science and is planning on finishing his Master’s degree in public administration this year.

It’s not entirely uncommon to see athletes enter into the political arena, but it is not often that a player who just finished playing college football is running for office the following year, as Jackson played for the Hurricanes in 2018.

On his official campaign website he wrote,

“As a former University of Miami Hurricanes football player, raised in the Overtown Community, I have witnessed people within our communities experiencing loss through their families, their homes, their workplaces and much more. Therefore, I have chosen to take my talents off the football field and into the political arena; using my educational background and experience, along with my competitiveness to make the much needed changes within our communities.”

While this is his first chance at making a change in Miami-Dade politics, he is not new to bringing change in his community. In 2017 while off the field due to injury, he founded his own charity “The Young Men of Tomorrow,” setting out to combat the violence in the city of Miami. This led to him winning Community Service Man of the Year award at the annual team banquet that season.

There have been some former football stars to run for political office in the past. Tennessee college and Washington Redskins QB Heath Shuler served in the U.S. House representing a district in North Carolina for six years (2007-13) and former Seahawks great Steve Largent served as an Oklahoma congressman for eight years in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Jackson is one of three Democratic candidates vying for the seat in office. For now, Jackson is in full campaign mode leading up to the primary in March.

Abbey is a native Floridan who grew up a fan of all Tampa Bay sports teams. She’s recently graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Media Communication Studies. In her time at FSU, she was an In-Game Host for the Basketball and Baseball teams, and reported for Seminole Sports Magazine, producing feature stories that appeared on Fox Sports Sun. She’s excited to share her perspective on all of Florida’s Football teams, especially the Seminoles.

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