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A quarter-century ago, former pro wrestler Jesse Ventura won the Minnesota governor race

Jesse Ventura "shocks the world" in Minnesota's '98 governor race | WCCO 75th Anniversary
Jesse Ventura "shocks the world" in Minnesota's '98 governor race | WCCO 75th Anniversary 00:54

MINNEAPOLIS — Former pro wrestler Jesse Ventura shocked the world when he won the 1998 Minnesota governor race.

Ventura defeated GOP candidate Norm Coleman and DFL candidate Hubert Humphrey by a margin of 37% of the votes. 

At the time, Ventura was the first Reformed Party candidate in the nation to win a statewide office. 

According to the Reform Party's official website, the party labels itself as a "moderate, centrist and populist party that sits in the center of the political spectrum. It has moderate fiscal and economic platforms mixed with strong calls for ethics and electoral reform based on populist beliefs."

Ventura's 1998 campaign slogan was "Retaliate in '98," casting Ventura as the modern anti-establishment, anti-media, anti-career-politician. Ventura served one term as governor, from 1999 to 2003. 

Ventura's name recently resurfaced in Minnesota news as the former governor announced he is launching his own marijuana edibles brand on April 20. 

Ventura has partnered with Retro Bakery — a Minnesota Black woman-owned business in Brooklyn Center — to create hemp-derived products. Ventura said he partnered with Retro Bakery because they're headquartered a few miles away from where he raised his family in Brooklyn Park.

Ventura has always been a strong supporter for the legalization of cannabis. 

Last year, Ventura testified in front of a Minnesota Senate committee in support of legalizing recreational cannabis use for adults in Minnesota. Ventura was in attendance when Gov. Tim Walz signed the marijuana legislation into law, making Minnesota the 23rd state to legalize the drug.  

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