Governor Jesse Ventura is scheduled to visit the Paynesville American Legion between 11:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. on Thursday as part of a tour of central Minnesota.
Ventura, who shocked the state and the nation when he won the election for governor in November of 1998, was the first Reform Party candidate to win statewide office.
Since then, the Minneapolis native has continued to attract attention from the public, the state media, and the national media. His name has surfaced as a possible presidential or vice presidential candidate on account of his popularity and name recognition.
Ventura served six years as a SEAL in the Navy and then had an 11-year career as a professional wrestler. Later he turned to acting and became a radio talk show host.
He got his start in politics in 1990, when he was elected mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota's sixth largest city. He served as mayor until 1995.
Since becoming governor, Ventura has continued his straight talking and sometimes flamboyant ways. Just a year in office, he has already published a best-selling autobiography, "I Ain't Got Time to Bleed"; has refereed a professional wrestling match in Minnesota; and has come under criticism for his interview withPlayboymagazine.
On Thursday, he will start in Glenwood, and visit Belgrade, Paynesville, Cold Spring, and St. Augusta Township, which has received permission to rename itself, Ventura. On a previous tour to cities in the southern part of the state, Governor Ventura attracted large crowds.
His final itinerary for Paynesville had not been released at press time, but the Paynesville Area High School jazz band will be on hand at the American Legion to play for him and the crowd. Also attending from the school will be juniors and seniors from Jeff Youngs' law class.
A meal will be served prior to the governor's arrival at 10:45 a.m. Cost of the lunch is $10. Tickets can be purchased at Corner Floral, Community First National Bank, Farmers and Merchants State Bank, and the Paynesville Office of the Melrose Credit Union. Net proceeds from the lunch will go to the Paynesville FoodShelf.
The public is welcome to come and see the governor without eating lunch.
With the legislative session under way, discussion here could center on some of the governor's proposals for the session, including a unicameral legislature, the state surplus, and light rail.
The last governor to visit Paynesville was Governor Arne Carlson, who came in the spring of 1993 for the ribbon cutting at Stearns Manufacturing.
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