Osborne romps again in Nebraska, Watts and Largent hold Sooner seats
Tom Osborne put up another huge number in Nebraska.
The former Cornhuskers football coach romped in his first bid for Congress, making him one of several sports celebrities to win political elections Tuesday.
Osborne got 81 percent of the vote in the state's 3rd Congressional District.
``He always liked to win big. There's no question about that,'' said Nebraska coach Frank Solich, a longtime Osborne assistant.
Elsewhere, Milwaukee Bucks owner Herb Kohl kept his U.S. Senate seat in Wisconsin, ex-NFL star Steve Largent and one-time Sooners quarterback J.C. Watts held their U.S. House seats in Oklahoma and former Olympian Jim Ryun won re-election to his U.S. House seat in Kansas.
George Allen, son of former Redskins and Rams head coach George Allen and brother of current Oakland Raiders executive Bruce Allen, was elected to the U.S. Senate from Virginia.
Also, voters in the Phoenix area approved a measure that would provide most of the money for a $331 million stadium for the NFL's Arizona Cardinals. The result ended speculation team owner Bill Bidwill might move the franchise to another city.
Osborne, 62, retired in January 1998 after leading the Cornhuskers to three national championships in 25 years.
The Republican said he was ready for Congress.
``It's a large team that often goes in different directions,'' he said. ``There is a lot of partisanship and I am somewhat prepared for the frustration.''
Watts, the fourth-ranking House member, easily won re-election in Oklahoma. So did Largent, a fellow Republican who played at Tulsa before starring for the Seattle Seahawks.
Ryun, who once held the world record in the mile, won his race in Kansas. He was first elected in 1996.
In Illinois, former Chicago Bears kicker Bob Thomas won a spot on the state Supreme Court.
Kohl kept his seat with an easy win in Wisconsin. The Democrat defeated John Gillespie, who had the early endorsement of his longtime friend, former Green Bay Packers quarterback Bart Starr.
Starr's old home, Lambeau Field, was involved in a referendum vote.
The sale of the stadium's naming rights to ease taxpayer costs for renovations won approval of Brown County residents in a referendum vote.
``We are confident that community leaders will carefully weigh the voters' sentiment in making decisions on naming rights in the months ahead,'' Packers president Bob Harlan said in a statement.
In the Phoenix area, voters approved a measure to provide most of the money for a new stadium for the Cardinals.
With 99 percent of the Maricopa County precincts reporting, 51 percent were in favor of Proposition 302 and 49 percent against.
``There are so many people that need to be thanked for the work that has happened in this campaign. It's a great night. In football we call it momentum. I hope the momentum carries forward,'' Bidwill said.
A proposed downtown Houston sports arena was overwhelmingly approved by Harris County residents, who voted to build it using tax money a year after rejecting a similar referendum.
The referendum asked voters to apply existing hotel and rental car taxes to construct a $256 million home for the Houston Rockets, who say their existing home, 25-year-old Compaq Center, lacks the luxury boxes and other amenities needed to compete financially with other NBA teams.