Jesse Ventura to ‘test the waters’ of Green Party presidential bid

Tribune Content Agency

MINNEAPOLIS — Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura is going to “test the waters” for a Green Party presidential bid, he tweeted Monday.

“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 tweet said.

Ventura said in the fall that he would consider running in 2020, and told Minnesota Public Radio then that he wouldn’t make up his mid until later, possibly in June. The Green Party is slated to select its nominee in July.

“To be clear: I haven’t filed anything,” Ventura wrote Monday. “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.”

Minnesotans elected the former professional wrestler as governor in 1998, after he ran as a Reform Party candidate. He served one term and transitioned to the Independence Party while in office.

This is not the first time Ventura has mulled a run for president. Ventura quashed speculation about a bid in 2016, saying that while he would like to debate then-GOP candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, he would not want the White House job.

“If you don’t want to do the job, you have no business running for president,” Ventura said at the time.

If Ventura enters the fray, he could bring name recognition that the current Green Party front-runner lacks. Howie Hawkins is currently leading in the primaries for the party’s nomination. Hawkins is a retired Teamster and organizer who has run for office about two dozen times. Every bid has been unsuccessful.


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