Meet Craig James
A fifth-generation Texan, Craig has a strong commitment to conservative values and a passion for preserving those values. He was born in Jacksonville, TX in 1961 and grew up watching his mother work multiple jobs to provide for him and his brother. Her example and the memories of an eviction notice on their apartment door have fueled Craig’s drive to succeed in the world of business.
With a college scholarship won with his performance on the football field, Craig attended Southern Methodist University and won All-American honors on the field as he was earning a degree in the classroom.
Following his college graduation, Craig played for the New England Patriots in the National Football League and in 1985, started in both the Super Bowl XX and the Pro Bowl. In the process, he never had an “off season.” Instead, he spent his time off the field honing his skills as a licensed commercial land broker in DFW working on raw land deals, retail centers, multi-family and single family development.
In 1993, he started the Craig James School of Broadcasting to train former players and coaches to enter the broadcast field. In 1995, he formed the Players Communication Network, one of the original video content providers for the Internet. Partnering with the likes of Lance Armstrong, Michael Johnson, Yahoo and The Sporting News, he created and sold several shows, including the Michael Irvin Show, “Call it Like It Is” with Deion Sanders, and The Daryl Johnston show.
Craig founded Emerging Land Markets in 2003, an extension of his personal real estate holdings with a focus on ranch acquisitions and development. These holdings extended to nearly 50,000 acres with value in excess of $150 million. The sale of assets from 2006-2008 was approximately $100 million.
In the fall of 2009, Craig's book “Game Day,” was published, chronicling his tours during college football spring training.
Craig’s gratitude for the life lessons learned at his alma mater compelled him to serve as co-chair for “SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign,” the largest fundraising initiative in SMU's history with an announced goal of raising $750 million.
He served as the President of the Celina Economic Development Corporation Board from 2003-2010 and spearheaded the project to bring Brookshires grocery store to Celina.
In January 2010, Craig joined the board of the Texas Public Policy Foundation a leading research institution on Public Policy that shares Craig’s strong belief in personal responsibility, limited government, free markets and liberty. Also in 2010, he founded Texans for a Better America, a 501(c)4 corporation committed to celebrating the essential Texas values and policies that could transform America for the better.
Craig also worked as a college football analyst for more than two decades, with time spent at CBS, ABC and ESPN. Craig left his college football position at ABC/ESPN in December and sold his interest in Emerging Land Markets to pursue his campaign for the United States Senate. He is passionate about restoring America and the future of the country. He wants all Americans to have the opportunity that he had to pursue the American dream regardless of their economic starting point. That drives him toward Washington where he will rock the boat and be a voice for Real Street.