The election of Jesse Ventura showed our young people that a vote really can make a difference. Whatever one might think of Ventura's politics, it was the mass appeal he created that brought thousands of young students to the polls that election day in November, 2000.
~Leo Trunt, Swan River, MN
As soon as one of the veterans of All-Star Wrestling, which also originated in Minnesota, was elected Governor, Minnesota was once again on the map. You couldn't even flip the late night channels without hearing a joke cracked at our former governor's expense once he was elected to the head of this fine state. He even cracked a few jokes at himself and fellow Minnesotans on nighttime talkshows. He changed the direction Minnesota was growing towards and finally shed a positive light on the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
~Ashley Blank, Brooklyn Park, MN
Got the light rail system started. That is a major impact on the future of twin city people-moving.
~Jay Simonsen, Plymouth, MN
Whatever you think of Jesse, he was a newsmaker for Minnesota, one way or another, for better or worse.
And if we can have the leader of the American Communist Party listed, we most certainly have to list a combat veteran who was a Minnesota Governor!
~Randy Penrod, Savage, MN
First wrestler to become governor of a state, coining the phrase: "Our govenor can beat up your govenor!".
~Lynette Siegfried, St Louis Park, MN
Reshaped Minnesota politics and showed that a non-Democrat or Republican can win here if they run the right type of campaign.
~Anonymous, Roseville, MN
Love him or hate him, he forever changed the face of state politics. And how many others can say they were governed by a pro wrestler?
Shows no matter how conserative a state is, if you have some good ideas, you can be elected.
~Lynda Angrimson, Clear Lake, MN
With an Independent Party affiliation, a voter mandate, national media coverage, and a star personality, Ventura had the potential to change the nation's political culture. Like a Greek tragedy, however, Ventura self-destructed and isolated voters because of his combative and self-serving personality.
~Adam Tillotson, Excelsior, MN
His leadership in bringing a light rail system of public transportation to the Minneapolis area. For his populist stand on governing.
~George Blackney, Plymouth, MN
The first ever cartoon character to be elected to public office in history.
~Colleen Trombley, Coon Rapids, MN
The election of Governor Ventura provided hope to many across the country that it is possible for a Third Party to have a viable impact on elections. I was thrilled when I moved here last year, just knowing I would actually have more than two serious choices at the ballot box. I hope this makes voting more exciting and important here, which seems to be substantiated by a citation I heard on MPR that the voting turn-out in Minnesota during the 2004 election was stupendously high 70-something, compared to the 42% in Michigan, my last home.
~Elizabeth Tobias, Minnetonka, MN
First state to nominate a governor who was a former professional wrestler.
Although he's controversial, he is certainly significant as aformer governor from the Independent Party. It would also be cool to have a politics feature and put in people like Eugene McCarthy, Walter Mondale, Hubert Humphery and of course Paul Wellstone. I also believe there was a prominent female politician who was actually brought down by a conspiracy involving her husband and her own political party.