KARE 11
May 16, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Former Gov. Jesse Ventura said he “may” file the necessary papers to run for the U.S. Senate in the November election.

If he doesn’t, his former campaign manager will.

Both are hinting at a run against Republican incumbent Norm Coleman and likely Democratic candidate Al Franken this fall. The only question seems to be: Will it be Ventura, or the man who helped him become governor?

Ventura’s former campaign manager, Dean Barkley, now works as a bus driver and gardens as a hobby.

“Ear to the dirt, listening to the pulse of the people,” he joked Thursday.

But Barkley, who was appointed to the Senate for 62 days after Paul Wellstone died in 2002, said he is serious about going to Washignton again.

“I don’t like either of the candidates out there,” he said. “And if no one else will do it, I will.”

As for Ventura, he refused to answer questions Thursday from reporters who showed up for his public book signing at Mall of America.

“Are you running for Senate?” a reporter asked.

“You’re the media,” Ventura mouthed before taking a question from someone else.

He eventually talked about his plans anyway.

“Now you’re asking me to stop my latest quest, which is surfing,” he said when asked about running for office again.

Ventura told the crowd that “none of the above” would be a better choice than Norm Coleman or Al Franken.

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