Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura endorses Walz

Two side-by-side photos of men speaking
Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, right, has endorsed Gov. Tim Walz ahead of November's election.
MPR News

Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura endorsed Governor Tim Walz for reelection on Thursday.

Ventura, Minnesota’s third-party Reform Party governor from 1999 to 2003 and current independent, said he doesn’t believe in the two major parties but this year's election is too important not to weigh in.

In a campaign video released by the Walz team, he voiced favor for Walz’s stance on abortion and reproductive health care access, his COVID response and the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

"When COVID-19 hit, Tim was there to keep our state safe. That’s the governor’s most important job. Tim has proved he does what’s right for Minnesota, not what is politically easy,” Ventura said in the video.

Donning his U.S. Navy Seal cap and shirt, Ventura nodded to his Navy Seal oath to “defend” the country and said he can’t support Republicans because so many have not condemned the Capitol insurrection.

Republicans Thursday criticized Ventura's embrace of a number of conspiracy theories over the years and his employment at Russia Today.

MPR News is Reader Funded

Before you keep reading, take a moment to donate to MPR News. Your financial support ensures that factual and trusted news and context remain accessible to all.

“As a Vietnam veteran, I am appalled that Gov. Tim Walz would seek and tout the endorsement of such a discredited conspiracy theorist,” Republican Party of Minnesota Chair David Hann said in a statement, noting that Ventura had claimed the 9/11 attacks were an inside job.

Hann said Walz owed “every military family and those of 9/11 victims an apology.”

The rare endorsement comes a day after former President Donald Trump did the same for Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Jensen.

Walz is facing Jensen and several third party candidates in the election on November 8. Noon on Friday, Oct. 28, MPR News politics editor Mike Mulcahy will moderate a debate between Walz and Jensen.

You’ll hear the debate live on MPR News, or watch it here.