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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Will Derrick Brooks run for state Senate?



Imagine the horror of uber-sports fan Jim Norman if he beats Kevin Ambler in the GOP primary for the District 12 Florida Senate seat and then has to face former Buccaneer Derrick Brooks in the general election.

Some Democrats are hoping for just that scenario. When asked if he was being courted by the party to run for the post, Brooks said this: "I'm not at liberty to talk about that right now." When pressed, he said that ever since then-Gov. Jeb Bush appointed him to the FSU Board of Trustees, people have questioned him about his political aspirations. If he ever does decide to run, he said, it won't be a secret. "I'll let everyone know."

Eric Jotkoff, spokesman for the Florida Democratic Party, said chairman Karen Thurman hasn't talked to Brooks, but "his name has come up in internal conversations."

Brooks has earned respect in the Tampa Bay area not for just his success on the football field, but also his education-based charities. He's accompanied kids who excelled in school to South Africa, and in 2007 helped establish a charter high school in Hillsborough County. One problem: Brooks is a voter registered with no party affiliation.

He's been on the political radar before. In 2006, when St. Petersburg Times sports writer Gary Shelton asked then-gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist which Buc, past or present, he'd most like as a running mate, he named Brooks.

-- JANET ZINK, Times staff writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:51pm]


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