Al Franken's no trail blazer in Minnesota. When former professional wrestler Ventura announced he was running for governor in 1998, the state's political establishment, and observers nationwide, couldn't see past the spandex. But running as a Reform Party candidate and man of the people, Ventura gained momentum. When he won, beating two mainstream candidates for the office, it prompted former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather to reach new heights of hyperbole: "The people of Washington could not be more surprised if Fidel Castro came loping across the midwestern prairie on the back of a hippopotamus." Ventura served just one term.
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