Points By Drew Pritt

Jesse Ventura Drops Out of Senate Race
July 15, 2008, 2:46 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

After weeks and months of teasing the voters and even indicating to N.P.R. that he would run as an anti-war Independent candidate for U.S. Senate, former Governor Jesse Ventura (I) lost his nerve and bowed out of the U.S. Senate race in Minnesota.

Ventura said on CNN’s “Larry King Live” that he was “close” to running against incumbent Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, but he decided against it because he didn’t want to submit his relatives to the kind of media scrutiny they endured when he was Governor. Saying it was an “agonizing decision” for him, he said via remote hook-up from Minneapolis, “I’ll tell you now that I’m not going to run at this moment.” Settled into the well-heeled snowbird’s life of summers in Minnesota and winters off the coast of Baja California, Ventura, who turns 57 today, decided he’d rather not roar back into politics.

A SurveyUSA/KSTP-TV poll released hours before his announcement showed Ventura trailing Coleman, but virtually tied with DFL-endorsed nominee Al Franken, feeding speculation that he would hurt the Democrat more than the Republican in the race. The poll showed Coleman at 43%, Franken at 27% and Ventura at 26%. More telling, Ventura led among independents and snatched away 28% of Democrats.

However, Franken will face a primary opponent. Priscilla Lord Faris, the daughter of former U.S. District Judge Miles Lord, said Monday that she’s not convinced that Franken can win despite what she called Republican incumbent Norm Coleman’s vulnerability. Until recently, she had supported Franken and even contributed to his campaign.

 Lord Faris, 66, has held elected office only once before, when she served on the Sunfish Lake City Council a few years ago. But she said that she has been active in several recent DFL races and that she expects to be able to raise $1 million to $2 million for the primary. Named one of the state’s top lawyers in 2006 and 2007, Lord Faris is managing partner of the St. Paul personal injury firm Faris and Faris, for which her husband, Wayne, is an attorney of counsel. A Minneapolis native, she has taught third grade and special education, worked in commercial real estate, and practiced law for 28 years. After her son was killed by a drunken driver, she became a passionate advocate for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). She also has two daughters.


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