Even though the Independence Party of Minnesota has endorsed Stephen Williams for U.S. Senate, that doesn’t mean that former governor Jesse Ventura is out of the race. He recently told the Associated Press that he would announce his plans on Tuesday, July 15.
Earlier, it was expected that the Minnesota Independence Party would nominate either Ventura or Dean Barkley — whom Ventura, as governor, appointed to the U.S. Senate to replace the deceased Paul Wellstone — for U.S. Senate. Barkley joked that the loser of a golf match between the two men would have to run, and hinted that he hoped Ventura would lose the match and thus be the party’s candidate. It was later reported that Barkley did in fact win the match, and six days later Barkley made it official in saying he would not run for Senate in ’08.
This, however does not mean that Ventura can’t be the party’s nominee. The Independence Party is a ”major party” in Minnesota, and as such, it nominates its candidates via government-funded primary. Additionally, Ventura could run as an independent — a candidate without partisan affiliation — as speculated in an earlier IPR report.
Also running in Minnesota: Former Saturday Night Live performer, political humor author, and Air America host, Democrat Al Franken. If Ventura runs, then incumbent Republican Norm Coleman would be facing the two celebrities (assuming Franken wins the Democratic primary), as well as candidates from the Green and Socialist Workers parties, as well as a few other independents.