Former Pittsburgh Steelers Star Lynn Swann Considers Running for Congress

Lynn Swann is thinking about running for Congress. The former Pittsburgh Steelers star, a Republican who lost Pennsylvania's gubernatorial race last fall, said Thursday he has been approached to run for the Pittsburgh-area seat held by Democratic Rep. Jason Altmire.

"I'm still collecting information," Swann, of Sewickley Heights, told The Associated Press in a phone interview. "People are still talking to me about it."

Swann would not say who has talked to him or when he plans to make up his mind.

"It's a process. It's not a matter at this point about whether it's something I thought about doing in the past or would think about doing in the future," Swann said. "It's a matter of getting information and keeping an open mind."

Swann made his political debut in a run against Gov. Ed Rendell in November. Before that, he had worked as a reporter and analyst for ABC Sports.

In his race, he advocated slashing state taxes, limiting spending and overhauling the local property tax system. But Swann had problems keeping up with Rendell financially, raising about $11 million to Rendell's $32 million.

Altmire defeated three-term Republican Rep. Melissa Hart in a November victory that surprised pundits. Hart said she is "seriously considering" running again, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported in late February.

Carrie James, a spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, defended Altmire's record, saying that "he puts the interest of his constituents before partisan politics."

The district in western Pennsylvania is historically Democratic, but voters tend to be socially conservative.