Written by: Lawrence Chen and Stephanie Zhang
Formerly an offensive tackle with the Philadelphia Eagles, Jon Runyan is now a U.S. Representative for New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District. He was elected in 2010 as a member of the Republican party.
In middle school, Runyan broke the school record for shot put with a distance of 50 feet and seven inches. Then in high school, Runyan was a two time Michigan High School Athletic Association state shotput champion, throwing a distance of 59 feet and five inches. In addition, Runyan had been an All-state selection for basketball and was then recruited by the Michigan state men’s basketball team. But Runyan declined because his true passion was in football. Runyan chose to play for the Michigan Wolverines football team where he was an All-Big Ten Conference selection.
After college, Runyan was drafted into the Houston Oilers. Then he moved with the team when it became the Tennessee Titans in 1997. Runyan played a final year with the Titans in 1999 when they made it to Super Bowl XXXIV. Runyan then signed contracts to play with the Eagles until 2008 and played with the San Diego Chargers in 2009.
In 2010, Runyan won the seat against incumbent John Adler for New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District. Runyan is appointed to three key committees: the House Armed Services, Veterans Affairs, and National Resources Committee. He also serves on the Tactical Air and Land, and Readiness subcommittees of the House Armed Services Committee. Through these committees, Runyan can strengthen missions and jobs associated with Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, the 2nd largest employer in New Jersey.
Runyan believes that the biggest issue of concern for Americans is the economy. During his first term as a Congressmen he has aimed to reduce the size of government so businesses can grow and create the much needed jobs. He supported bills that promote economic growth and facilitate job creation. Runyan also believes that Washington must stop uneeded spending to ultimately balance the budget.
The former Washington Redskins and New Orleans quarterback Heath Shuler took the motivation that he learned from football into Congress when he was elected North Carolina’s 11th district representative in 2006.
In college, Shuler was the star quarterback for the University of Tennessee in 1993. There he was awarded several awards, including Southeastern Conference (SEC) player of the year, and came runner up in the vote for the Heisman trophy.
Following college, Shuler was recruited by the Washington Redskins as their first draft pick in 1994. In 1996, Shuler was traded to the New Orleans Saints for their fifth round pick. However, in 1999, Shuler suffered a foot injury and decided to retire from NFL football and move to North Carolina in 2003.
After pursuing a psychology and real estate career, Shuler announced in July of 2005 that he was looking forward to running against North Carolina’s 11th District representative then, Charles H. Taylor.
When Shuler ran in 2006, his platform opposed same-sex marriage, abortion and gun control, which the majority of North Carolina’s population agreed with. In the end, Shuler won with a 54 percent vote in 2006.
After two years in office, Shuler ran against Republican Asheville city councilman Republican Carl Mumpower in 2008. That year, he won with 62 percent of the vote. On April 18, 2012, Shuler, along with other members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, passed a legislative package to protect opportunities for sportsmen througout the country.
In July, Shuler released a statement stating that he intended to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Shuler has remained the representative of North Carolina’s 11th district for six years, however, in Feb. 2, 2012, Shuler announced that he would not be running for another term.