MANATEE — Henry Lawrence, one of the most decorated athletes Manatee County has produced, has filed to challenge U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan for his seat in Congress in November.
Lawrence filed last week as a Democratic candidate for House District 16, according to the Federal Election Commission.
"It is my honor and privilege to announce my candidacy for the United States Congress," Lawrence posted on his LinkedIn profile page. "Together we will rebuild that American Dream for everyone in this great nation!"
The 62-year-old Palmetto resident and former NFL standout has never run for election before. He will be facing Buchanan, a Longboat Key Republican who has been in office since 2007.
Lawrence is one of the most decorated athletes to come out of Manatee County. He played football at the old Lincoln High in Palmetto, then transferred to Manatee High before going on to a stellar collegiate career at Florida A&M.
Lawrence was then selected in the first round of the 1974 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders and spent 13 seasons with the franchise. The offensive tackle made two Pro Bowl teams and played in three Super Bowls, earning the nickname "Killer" while playing under legendary coach John Madden.
Lawrence was enshrined in the Florida Sports Hall of Fame in 2012. He has also enjoyed a career as an entrepreneur, philanthropist, motivational speaker and accomplished R&B singer.