Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura said Monday that he has decided to “test the waters” on a third-party presidential bid.
“If I were going to run for president, the Green Party would be my first choice. I’ve endorsed the party and I’m testing the waters,” the former professional wrestler said on Twitter.
Ventura said he hasn’t filed for candidacy but simply authorized a letter of interest sent to the Green Party on his behalf.
“I’m testing the waters for the Green Party nomination. I’m an independent. I’m not a Democrat or a Republican because I know they’re not the solution,” he added.
To be clear: I haven't filed anything. I authorized a letter of interest that was sent on my behalf to the Greens and I'm testing the waters for Green Party nomination. I'm an independent. I'm not a Democrat or a Republican because I know they're not the solution.
— Jesse Ventura (@GovJVentura) April 27, 2020
Ventura was elected Minnesota’s 38th governor in 1998 as a Reform Party candidate, but switched to the Independence Party while still in office. Prior to his election, Ventura served as the mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. He decided against seeking reelection and left the Governor’s Mansion in 2003.
Ever since, he has repeatedly flirted with the idea of a third-party presidential bid.
“You have got to get in shape – either for Wrestlemania or you know, 2020. I get in shape for a reason. What would happen in 2020 if Jesse Ventura were the candidate of the Green Party?” he said in 2018 after a meeting with Gov. Tim Walz.
Ventura pitched the then governor-elect on his “pot for potholes” proposal and is a vocal advocate for the legalization of marijuana.
“Minnesota has always been a leader. But in the case of cannabis we’ve become a follower. And I think the new governor-elect is going to change that,” he said.
Howie Hawkins, a self-described “eco-socialist” and co-founder of the Green Party, is currently considered the frontrunner for the party’s presidential nomination. According to his campaign website, Hawkins is the “original Green New Dealer” and participated in the “first national meeting to organize a U.S. Green Party in St. Paul, Minnesota in August 1984.”
Hawkins has campaigned for office several times, including three unsuccessful bids for governor of New York.
Ventura currently hosts a show called “The World According to Jesse” on RT, a network funded by the Russian government.
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