Former Indianapolis Colts receiver Anthony Gonzalez is one step closer to becoming a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Gonzalez, a Cleveland native who played at Ohio State before the Colts made him the 32nd pick in the 2011 NFL draft, won Tuesday’s Republican primary for the House seat being vacated by Jim Renacci, in the state’s 16th District.
Renacci is running for U.S. Senate.
Cleveland.com reports that Gonzalez got a boost thanks to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which bought $300,000 worth of ads in support of the 33-year-old. He beat out Christina Hagan, currently a state senator, and Dr. Michael Grusenmeyer in the GOP primary.
Gonzalez will face local health care professional Susan Moran Palmer, who won the Democratic primary, in November’s election.
In a statement posted to Twitter, Gonzalez wrote in part, “The phrase ‘all politics is local’ is often overused, but truly describes the strategy we employed to push us towards tonight’s result. While our national political discourse continues to be dominated by vitriol and division, Northeast Ohio continues to be defined by passion and pride, but also civility, hard work, and a commitment to results.”
Though he was a first-round draft pick, Gonzalez didn’t pan out: he played just 40 games over five seasons with the Colts, often sidelined by injuries. He finished his career with 99 catches for 1,307 yards and seven touchdowns.
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