Former Gov. Jesse Ventura endorses DFLer Tim Walz for reelection in Minnesota


Not exactly an October surprise, but former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura’s endorsement of fellow Gov. Tim Walz wasn’t expected.

Ventura, a former Navy Seal and onetime professional wrestler, called his endorsement of any major party candidate unprecedented. But the one-term governor cited Walz’s response to COVID-19 and the threat to abortion rights as reasons for changing tactics.

Ventura also cited the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol as a reason to take a stand.

“Our democracy is under attack,” Ventura said in a video released by the Walz campaign. “I took an oath 50 years ago as a Navy Seal to defend this country. I can’t stand with anyone or any party who cannot condemn the Jan. 6 insurrection.”

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The endorsement comes a day after former President Donald Trump produced his own surprise — an endorsement of GOP nominee for governor Scott Jensen and GOP nominee for secretary of state Kim Crockett.

Walz and GOP nominee Scott Jensen will face off for the final time before the Nov. 8 election in a joint interview on MPR News at noon Friday.


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