By BRIAN THOMPSON
Tuesday’s election offered a lot of surprises across the country, But, in Minnesota, the results left many voters in disbelief.
Called one of the biggest upsets in American political history, Minnesota Reform Party candidate and former professional wrestler Jesse “The Body” Ventura slammed his way into the governor’s seat.
Ventura, an ex-Navy SEAL and Vietnam veteran, is best known for his ring-side antics in the WCW professional wrestling circuit. He has also appeared in many action-adventure movies, including several with superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger. Some of his silver screen appearances include “Predator,” “The Running Man” and “Batman and Robin.”
“Jesse has been an interesting and sometimes comical addition to the governor’s race,” said Jeff Thompson, a BYU graduate now living in Minnesota. “But I don’t think anyone here, including Jesse himself, really thought he had even the remotest chance to win.”
One of Ventura’s last advertising campaigns involved a Jesse “The Body” action figure beating up on a plastic Special Interest Man doll.
“On the one hand, what happened is sort of breathtaking. A non-system, non-party candidate has tapped the grass roots and won. It kind of restores my faith in the political system and the voice of the people,” Thompson said. “On the other hand, I’m embarrassed by it too.”
During his victory party, Ventura said the win was a manifestation of the American dream.
“We’ve shocked the world,” he said. “Hopefully the Republicans and Democrats will take notice now. They will stop their partisan party politics and start doing what’s right for the people,” Ventura said.