Senator’s retirement news sparks calls for LeBron James to run for office

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Graeme Massie
·2 min read
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<p>Senator’s retirement news sparks calls for LeBron James to run for office</p> (Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Senator’s retirement news sparks calls for LeBron James to run for office

(Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

The retirement of Republican Senator Rob Portman has sparked calls for NBA superstar LeBron James to run for office.

The Ohio lawmaker announced that he will quit the Senate and not run for a third term in office in 2022, and his seat will become a huge target for Democrats.

Mr Portman, who represents the state alongside Democrat Sherrod Brown, blamed the “increasingly polarised country” for his decision to walk away from the job.

Now there have been calls on social media for the Akron-born Los Angeles Laker great, who won a championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers, to stand.

James, 36, was a vocal critic of Donald Trump and once even called him a “bum” and posted a clown emoji over the former president’s face.

He has been a leading supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement and launched the More Than A Vote project to end Black voter suppression.

In 2018 he also opened the “I Promise School” in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, that is specifically aimed at at-risk children in that community.

“Instead of donating to a party that has failed Ohio. We need a transformative leader. Please get the word out and bring LeBron James home to take the senate seat,” tweeted @LebronSenate

“LeBron James could secure the all-time scoring record and run for Senate in the same year,” said @hughhowey on Twitter.

“Lebron James for Senate 2022,” added @BeccaNoori

In December he agreed a two-year, $85 million contract extension with the Lakers that ends after the 2022-2023 season, when he will be 38.

He has been rumoured to want to try and play alongside his 16-year-old son, Bronny James, who is set to graduate from high school in 2023.

James has denied he has any political aspirations but was once asked during a CNN interview if he would run for president, if he was the only person who could beat Donald Trump.

"Well, in that case, I may," he replied to Don Lemon.

A representative for James did not respond to a request for comment.

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