Report: Ventura Will Run for Senate in Minnesota

Posted July 9, 2008 at 9:41am

The Body is back.

In an interview that aired Wednesday on National Public Radio, former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura (I) hinted that he is likely to enter one of the most competitive Senate races in the country, adding a third option to the race between Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) and comedian Al Franken (D).

Ventura would not officially confirm he was running until the July 15 filing deadline. However he told NPR that he is not spreading rumors about his candidacy to generate buzz about his new book, an allegation many of the former pro wrestler’s detractors have made in recent days.

Ventura said he is motivated to run because of his opposition to the Iraq War.

“That’s the reason I run, not to sell books,” he told NPR in a suburban St. Paul parking lot. “I run because it angers me.”

Ventura also noted in the interview that he had defeated Coleman before, in the three-way 1998 gubernatorial race, and vowed to do so again.

“And all you Minnesotans take a good hard look at all three of us ad you decide if you were in a dark alley, which one of the three of us would you want with you?” Ventura said.

After a controversial single term as governor, Ventura opted not to run again and retreated almost completely from public life until recently.

A poll commissioned by local station KSTP-TV of 700 adults in mid-June showed Coleman defeating Franken and Ventura, getting 41 percent to 31 percent for Franken and 23 percent for Ventura. The margin of error for that poll was 4.1 points.

Ventura, however, was behind in the polls significantly until Election Day in 1998.