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Jesse Ventura dangles idea of 2016 presidential run

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Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura showed up at a State Capitol function Friday and used the opportunity to suggest that he may be interested in an independent run at the presidency -- with shock jock Howard Stern as a potential running mate, the Star Tribune reports.

Ventura, dressed in tye-dyed shirt and blue jeans, did not officially declare he was running, but implied an "opportunity."

Still, he told reporters, “I said that 2016 is an opportune moment because there’ll be no incumbent. I believe one issue that would carry me to victory ... I would give the people of America to their first opportunity to elect a president who doesn’t belong to either party, since George Washington."

As for Stern's interest in being a running mate, Ventura said the idea "intrigues him," the Pioneer Press reports.

Ventura joined Gov. Mark Dayton and former governors Arne Carlson and Tim Pawlenty at a Capitol reception honoring the retirement of State Patrol Sgt. Tony Policano -- an officer who protected each of them.

The former professional wrestler-turned-governor's appearance comes two days after his lawyer said Ventura was continuing his defamation lawsuit against late Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle -- by asking the federal court to substitute Kyle's wife, Taya Kyle, as the defendant in the case.

Taya Kyle’s attorney responded Wednesday that Ventura’s move “comes as a disappointment, but no surprise.”

Chris Kyle, who was shot and killed at a shooting range near Fort Worth, Texas, in February, wrote in his book “American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History,” about a 2006 confrontation with a “celebrity” he nicknamed “Scruff Face.”

Chris Kyle never used Ventura’s name in the book, but the Pioneer Press says Kyle later acknowledged he was describing Ventura.

Ventura, however, denies that a fight ever took place.

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