Da Coach Has at Least One Fan in the U.S. Senate

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Ditka is considering a run for Senate and he met Tuesday night with state GOP chairwoman Judy Baar Topinka and Senator George Allen of Virginia.

Allen is chairman of the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, which is a key source of funds for GOP Senate candidates.

Allen's father was defensive coordinator of the 1963 NFL champion Chicago Bears, a team on which Ditka starred as a tight end. The senator says his father had been instrumental in signing Ditka with the Bears.

Allen says he's known Ditka for years and considers him "a very good friend."

Ditka met with GOP leaders as he mulls efforts to draft him into the race against Democrat Barack Obama.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)