Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura announced Friday that after toying with the idea of running for president on the Green Party ticket, he has decided against it.

But Ventura, 68, left the door open a crack, adding in a Star Tribune interview that while he will not actively seek the Greens’ nomination, he would run if they draft him at their virtual convention in July.

Ventura, a professional wrestler and movie actor before becoming mayor of Brooklyn Park, served one term as governor after a winning an upset victory in 1998 running as an independent in a three-way race.

He did not run for a second term but from time to time has raised the possibility of seeking the presidency, although each time rejecting the idea. He joined the Minnesota Green Party in April at a meeting with their leaders that was posted on the state Greens’ website. He said in a tweet he was mulling a run.

But Friday he said that there was a “medical” issue that had to deal with. He declined to say whether it involves him or his wife. But in the meantime, he said he has to maintain his health insurance through RT, a television network that is supported by the Russian government. His show, the World According to Jesse, runs on Fridays on the internet.

“I would have to quit my job immediately and lose my health care,” he said.


Twitter: @randyfurst