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Ventura mulling second term in political ring

Former professional wrestler Ventura calls politics
Former professional wrestler Ventura calls politics "the dirtiest game I've ever been involved in."  

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) -- Gov. Jesse Ventura said Monday that he probably will seek re-election to Minnesota's top office in November.

"I would tell you right now that I'm leaning toward running again," Ventura said on CNN's "Larry King Live." He won't decide for sure until this summer whether to seek another term, Ventura said.

A former professional wrestler and actor, Ventura was mayor of suburban Brooklyn Park when he ran for governor in 1998 as an independent. He beat the Democratic and Republican candidates, stunning the political establishment and becoming a favorite topic of talk shows and stand-up comics.

He spent only $300,000 on the race, and Ventura said he has already raised that much money for a possible re-election bid. As an incumbent, he said he expects to spend even less if he runs again.

The governor also gave his latest profession a body slam. "It's the dirtiest game I've ever been involved in," he said.

Ventura has other matters to which he must attend, too. The Minnesota legislature is about to meet, and its leaders will have to grapple with a $1.9 billion budget deficit.

After three years of surpluses, Minnesota is suffering the effects of the national recession and the events of September 11, Ventura said. Its major industries -- tourism and aviation -- have been adversely affected, he said.




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