Football fans in the Ahwatukee area may have a familiar name representing them in the Legislature next year.
Former Arizona Cardinals defensive end Michael Bankston is running for the House in District 20. Bankston, a Democrat, played for the Cardinals from 1992 to 1997, and retired in 2000 after three years with the Cincinnati Bengals.
“I was always interested in the political aspect and making some changes and making a difference for my community,” Bankston said. “I just thought this would be an opportunity to really make a difference, make it known that there are definitely some changes and things that need to be done.”
LD20 already has two Republican incumbents, Reps. Jeff Dial and Bob Robson. But the district is one of the most competitive in the legislative map and may represent one of the Democrats’ best pickup opportunities in the Legislature.
Bankston has been active for years in the nonprofit sector and said he is looking for other ways to serve the community. He serves as vice chair on the board of directors of Future for Kids, a nonprofit group that mentors at-risk children.