Former D-back star and Trump enthusiast Curt Schilling said on a talk show he is "absolutely considering" running for Congress in Arizona.
Former Arizona Diamondbacks legend and outspoken conservative Curt Schilling said he is "absolutely considering" running for Congress in Arizona against one of the state's five Democrats.
In a statement to The Arizona Republic, the former pitcher acknowledged he is weighing whether to enter politics. Schilling, an Arizona native who identifies himself as a Massachusetts resident, did not make clear which district he is considering.
"Not ready to do any of that right now. If/When things solidify I will but right now it's something in the 'I'm considering it' stage," Schilling wrote in an email.
"The state is not the state I grew up in. Making Arizona citizens of EVERY Race, religion and sexual orientation 2nd class citizens to illegal immigrants is about as anti-American as it gets," he continued. "When you have homeless veterans, children, and you're spending tax dollars on people smuggling drugs and children across our border someone in charge needs their ass kicked."
Schilling opened speculation about his political future after an interview Sunday with Armed American Radio’s Mark Walters.
"I haven’t said anything publicly, but I’m considering going back to Arizona and running for a congressional seat, one of the blue ones," he said Sunday. "It’s something that my wife and I have talked about, and she’s now becoming more and more pumped at the potential. Obviously, we’re still quite a few discussions away, but yeah, it’s something we’re absolutely considering."
Schilling, one of the World Series stars for the 2001 Diamondbacks and 2004 Boston Red Sox, has long stood out as one of the most prominent conservative voices in sports.
He endorsed President George W. Bush over then-Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry on national TV within days of the Red Sox winning their first championship in 86 years and after his career-defining game pitching in a bloodied sock.
These days, Schilling is an outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump who made a recent campaign appearance for Brandon Martin, a Republican running in a Tucson-area district against Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., who is in her first term from that area of the state.
In the Walters interview, Schilling said, as an Arizona native, he knows the importance of illegal immigration as a political issue and that was reinforced in his recent visit to Tucson.
"The illegal immigration issue is not a joke. I understand the seriousness of it," Schilling said. "I've seen how it impacts and affects people, communities, the state. It's been so long since I've been there and we were hearing from people who were the tip of the spear."
Schilling has found life after baseball more complicated than his on-field achievements.
In 2016, ESPN fired him after he shared a Facebook post about North Carolina's controversial law that banned transgender people from using bathrooms other than their birth genders.
Last month, a federal judge dismissed the last legal case stemming from an ill-fated $75 million economic development project involving Schilling's 38 Studios and the state of Rhode Island.
Presuming Schilling doesn't plan to run against Martin, that would leave four other possibilities in Arizona currently represented by Democrats.
Rep. Tom O'Halleran holds the largely rural seat that spans northeastern Arizona down to the outskirts of Tucson. Voters there narrowly chose Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton even as they picked O'Halleran for the House.
Rep. Raúl Grijalva, the dean of Arizona's congressional delegation, and Ruben Gallego, who flirted with a Senate run earlier this year, occupy two solidly Democratic districts that collectively run from the West Valley down to Yuma.
Rep. Greg Stanton, the former mayor of Phoenix, is a freshman in Washington and represents a district that runs from north-central Phoenix down to Chandler.