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Hrbek Turned Down Ventura Offer

November 5, 1998

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Former Minnesota Twins first baseman Kent Hrbek says he declined an offer to be Governor-elect Jesse Ventura’s running mate because it would have interfered with his fishing, hunting and bowling.

``I’d have missed my hunting trip this weekend if I would have ran with him,″ Hrbek said. ``Or, I would have gone anyway, and I would have gotten off on the wrong foot on that job.

``I’m happy the way it turned out. I thought it was great. But I’m not a politician. Then again, neither is Jesse.″

Ventura chose St. Paul schoolteacher Mae Schunk to be his lieutenant governor.

Ventura and Hrbek told friends of Ventura’s offer this summer, but both kept the offer quiet publicly until Wednesday.

A longtime professional wrestling fan, Hrbek voted for Ventura, as did many of his friends. ``He loves Minnesota, just as much as I love Minnesota,″ Hrbek said. ``And I think there’s a lot of people who really like Minnesota, and they gave him four years to give it a shot.

``To me, it seems like there are a lot of people around here with a bounce in their step because of Jesse.″

Ventura has vowed not to spend public money on a new stadium for the Twins. Hrbek understands that approach, but hopes Ventura will find a way to replace the Metrodome.

``Me and a pile of my buddies all hate the dome,″ Hrbek said. ``I hate it _ it’s all plastic.″

Still, Hrbek is optimistic.

``I think Jesse will help us out with that. He said he won’t use taxpayer’s money, but I think he might be able to get something done. We’ve got to cheer up that atmosphere and make baseball fun again.″

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