Ventura Won't Jump Into Senate Ring

Cites media scrutiny for staying out of race
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 15, 2008 5:57 AM CDT
Jesse Ventura presents his first State of the State address to a joint session of the legislature at the State Capitol in 1999.   (AP Photo/Tom Olmscheid, File)
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(Newser) – Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura wrestled with the idea of running for the US Senate as an independent candidate, but has decided he won't join the race against Republican pro-war incumbent Norm Coleman and satirist Al Franken. His uncomfortable experience facing intense media scrutiny as governor and concerns about his family's privacy were key factors in his decision, he told CNN's Larry King Live.

"I'm not going to run at this moment," said the former professional wrestler, who called his decision "agonizing." A recent poll found that with Ventura in the race, Coleman would now lead with 43% of the vote, followed by Franken with 27% and Ventura with 26%. Without Ventura as a candidate, Coleman leads 52% to 39%.