Lynn Swann, campaigning to become the first black governor of Pennsylvania, was raised in Tennessee by parents scratching out a living. His father was a janitor, his mother a dentist's assistant. With that background, it might surprise some that Swann is a conservative Republican.
Except for one thing: He's a former pro athlete.
The vast majority of big-time sports personalities who enter the political arena do so as members of the GOP.
The party can stake a claim to football standouts Gerald Ford, Jack Kemp, Steve Largent and J.C. Watts, among others. There's a former college football coach, Nebraska Congressman Tom Osborne; and Sen. George Allen, a possible presidential candidate whose father made the name famous in coaching circles.
Legendary miler Jim Ryun is a Kansas congressman, and Hall of Fame baseball player Jim Bunning is a U.S. senator from Kentucky. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was a world-champion bodybuilder. Dennis Hastert, speaker of the House, is a former high school wrestling coach. Even the Arena Football League has gotten into the act: Greg Hopkins of the Los Angeles Avengers is seeking the Republican nomination for state representative of the 50th District in Pennsylvania.
Democrats? There's Sen. Bill Bradley, the former New York Knick