by Jeff Cain – MMAWeekly.com
Chael Sonnen took a page out of Team Quest teammate Matt Lindland’s book and threw his name in the hat for local politics.

“I have officially announced my candidacy for District 37 in Oregon for the House of Representatives,” Sonnen told MMAWeekly.com.

Running as a Republican, the preliminary election for the seat takes place in May and the general election in November.

“(The position is) currently held by a Republican, and he’s vacating the seat to run for the U.S. Fifth Congressional District,” said Sonnen. “I was recruited by the party to fill his seat, but there hasn’t been any polling yet. We’re three weeks in.”

When Lindland ran for public office his opponent used his fighting background against him in television ads. Asked if he’s concerned about getting the same treatment, Sonnen said, “It sure does (make it more difficult). I don’t steer into it. I hide from it. I don’t go out and brag about being a meathead that gets in a cage and beats people up that he has no problem with.

“I hide from the fact,” added the Team Quest trained athlete. “When it comes up I have to address it, but I focus a lot more on running business, college and education, and things like that.

“It will come up, but everything will. I’ll bring stuff up on the other guy too. It goes both ways.”

Sonnen says a win in November wouldn’t have any affect on his mixed martial arts career.

“Nothing would change,” said the 32-year-old fighter. “I would just continue fighting.

“It won’t change anything. I practice for three hours a day now, and I’ll practice three hours a day then,” added Sonnen. “I’ve got friends that spend more time on golf than that.”

Sonnen has the full support of the UFC in his political aspirations in Oregon.

“Dana (White) contributed to the campaign,” said the newly minted candidate.