Rucker, former Mizzou football player, files to run against Corlew

A familiar name entered the race for a local political office, adding some early intrigue into a race for a seat in the Missouri House of Representatives.

Republican incumbent Kevin Corlew faces potential opposition from Martin Rucker II, who filed as a Democrat for the 14th District. A St. Joseph native, Rucker earned All-American honors as a tight end with the University of Missouri before going on to a brief career in the NFL. This will be his first foray into politics.

The 14th district encompasses a portion of southeastern Platte County.

“I’ll take it as far as it takes me,” Rucker said in an interview with the St. Joseph News-Press. “I just want to do right by the people.”

Rucker officially retired from the NFL in 2014 after stints with the Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars and Kansas City Chiefs. He made two catches for 17 yards from 2008-2012.

In college, Rucker finished as the second-leading receiver in Missouri history with 203 catches, while ranking fifth in total receiving yards (2,175).

Rucker teased his decision to run for office on social media platforms on the first day to file for candidacy. His inspiration comes from Martin Rucker, Sr., who served parts of St. Joseph and southern Buchanan County as a state representative from 2005 to 2010 in addition to holding seats on the St. Joseph School District Board of Education and the Missouri Board of Probation and Parole.

Rucker’s post-football career includes experience working as a personal trainer, along with his current job as a project engineer for Kissick Construction of Kansas City.

Corlew, a native of Kansas City, Mo., was elected to his first term in 2014.