Path To Power
Runyan is a career athlete with no previous political experience. After playing football at the University of Michigan, he entered the National Football League. For 14 years, he was a defensive NFL lineman for the Houston Oilers (now Tennessee Titans), the Philadelphia Eagles and the San Diego Chargers. He has also worked as sports broadcaster.
He has been active in his community as a board member and advocate for a variety of causes including autism, juvenile diabetes, Special Olympics, cystic fibrosis and Alzheimer's disease. He is the five-time host of the New Jersey "Score for the Cure" golf tournament, which benefits prostate-cancer research.
While Runyan has appeared at tea party-sponsored events, it is unclear whether he considers himself an official tea party candidate. However, independent House candidate Peter DeStefano will likely be labeled as the 3rd district's tea party candidate on the November 2, 2010 ballot (the "tea party" was an official ballot line in the Garden State).
As a conserative candidate, Runyan is against abortion rights and gay marriage. He supports civil unions.