Image copyright Getty Images Image caption US Democrat Dianne Feinstein is retiring from the Senate
Ex-NFL star Herschel Walker’s chances of being elected to the US Senate in Texas appear to have got a boost from former San Francisco 49ers coach Bill Walsh.
Walker, 71, has until 26 June to collect the required number of signatures from registered voters, giving him a chance to win the Democratic primary in September.
The former long-running Cowboys running back was encouraged to run by a super-PAC and has endorsements from several Democrats, including Dianne Feinstein.
However, Mr Walsh said in a statement it was not so simple.
“To win statewide on the Democratic ticket, Walker would need not only party support but to forge a strong partnership with the establishment conservatives, just as I have done,” Mr Walsh said.
“Part of the most important thing for Walker to learn is that both are essential.”
Also accepting money from Walker was ex-Alabama governor and presidential candidate George Wallace, 85, who said: “The one thing this state doesn’t have enough of is good, solid, honest leadership.”
Walker first announced he was running for the seat of retiring Senator Cruz last month.
He said he was inspired to enter the race after Texas suffered a string of negative polls and fundraising problems.
Walker was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys out of Georgia in 1974 at the age of 19 and went on to make four Pro Bowl appearances and win the NFL rushing title in 1981 and 1982.
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Walker was a four-time NFL rushing champion
He also spent two seasons with the Dallas Falcons before moving on to the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions.
Walsh, who died in 2005, also has a lengthy résumé in coaching.
He coached four Super Bowl champions, and won the 1988 NFL championship with the San Francisco 49ers after a 22-16 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XVI in Pontiac, Michigan.