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Report: Jay Paterno Eyeing Congressional Run

Jay Paterno has never made his political interests a secret. The former Penn State quarterback and coach campaigned for President Obama and has long been active in local Democratic circles.

It comes as little surprise that Paterno is considering a run for Congress. The Patriot-News, citing “prominent Democratic figures in Centre County and Pennsylvania,” say that Paterno has indicated interest in challenging incumbent Rep. Glenn Thompson in Pennsylvania’s Fifth Congressional District.

Paterno has a tough challenge if he does decide to jump in the race. PA-5 — which includes State College — has long been and is likely to continue to be a blood-red Republican district. It would take a prominent and unique figure like Jay Paterno to even have a chance at unseating Rep. Thompson. The Patriot-News says that a decision from Paterno is coming in about a month.

Paterno already has one supporter in gubernatorial candidate Rob McCord, who encouraged Paterno to run at a Centre County Democrats dinner earlier this month.

“Jay is a smart, capable leader who really wants to help people,” McCord said. “I believe he would win that congressional seat and make a great member of Congress. I’d love to see him get in that race.”

Paterno-family politics has always been an interesting case study. Despite actually donating to Obama’s 2008 campaign, Joe Paterno was a well-known conservative. Jay’s brother Scott ran unsuccessfully for congress in 2004 on the Republican side against then-Rep. Tim Holden.

What lies ahead for JayPa we’ll know soon enough, but personally, I’m excited for the book.

About the Author

Kevin Horne

Kevin Horne was the editor of Onward State from 2012-2014 and currently holds the position of Managing Editor Emeritus, which is a fake title he made up. He graduated from Penn State with degrees journalism and political science in 2014 and is currently seeking his J.D. at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law. A third generation Penn Stater from Williamsport, Pa., Kevin is also the president of the graduate student government. Email: [email protected]

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