Norm Coleman deciding not to run for Governor of Minnesota simply means there is more room for more candidates. In my last unofficial count there were 29 men and women that had either announced their intentions or were being considered by party insiders. This list included a lot of politicians and a lot of lawyers. With that being said it’s the perfect time for me to introduce my 3 contenders for the gov spot.
Coming in at #3 is Kent Hrbek. Born and raised in Bloomington, he attended Kennedy High School. He joined his hometown team in 1981 and remained loyal to the Minnesota Twins until his retirement in 1994. As an avid outdoorsman, he was known for going duck hunting the morning of game 7 of the 1987 World Series. He has continued his love of nature by hosting his syndicated show KENT HRBEK OUTDOORS. He still lives in Bloomington and can still be seen being a pitchman for Carrier Heating and Air Conditioning Systems. What makes him governor material? 1) He’s true blue loyal to Minnesota and has a working man’s mentality of getting the job done. 2) Relates well to the people of Minnesota with his love of the State and the outdoors. (I can see him on the cover of Time Magazine…just like Wendell Anderson). 3) His honesty and integrity even as a sports personality.
Coming in at # 2 is another sports personality…RAGNAR the Minnesota Viking mascot. His real name is Joseph Juranitch and was born in Milwaukee in 1961, moving many times until arriving in Ely in 1976. After several tough years of drug and alcohol use through high school and beyond, he became a born again Christian in the mid 80’s and married the love of his life from his high school days, his wife Laurie. In 1986 he worked security for the Minnetonka School District and in 2000 became the Assistant Dean of Students of the Hopkins School District. With support of friends and family he auditioned to become the Vikings mascot in 1993 and was offered the position. Since that time he has never missed a home Vikings game and has a long standing history of community involvement. A couple of interesting facts: Ragnar is the only HUMAN mascot in professional sports. Also Joe set a world record (since 1982) of the quickest shave of a beard with an AX (8 minutes 43 seconds). That record still stands today. What makes him governor material? 1) Growing up with drug/alcohol use, he turned his life around…a man of strength and character. 2) Background with education, youth, community service and sports and 3) Any man that can shave a beard with an ax in 8 minutes can handle the legislators just fine!
Coming in as my #1 pick to enter the race for the Governor of Minnesota is no one else but DICK ENRICO, television personality and owner of 2nd Wind Exercise equipment. His background is as colorful as his corny commercials. At age 69, Mr. Enrico has spent 51 years as an entrepreneur, starting under his own admission in a 2004 Wall Street Journal article 20 businesses that have folded or been sold at fire sell prices, including a parking lot striping service, a waterbed store, and a franchise quit smoking operation. He even sold pots and pans door to door in his hometown of Chisholm. The article even talks about a restaurant he started in the 70’s in Minneapolis with a gangster motif. To make his menus look authentic, he shot holes in them with a 22 rifle! He sold vending machines that had tiny cranes that picked up animals (the name of the company was UNITED CRANE). He sold backyard storage systems called Handihuts (a storage solution to garage pollution). The article comments that he financed deals with banks, friends and even credit cards. His start up ideas cost him millions of dollars and almost drove him to depression. He finally focused in 1992 on selling used exercise equipment and stayed with that operation. What he did best was sales and with that idea he built his 2nd Wind empire to 85 stores and one of the most successful fitness dealers in the country. What makes him governor material? 1) He’s a salesman…all successful politicians are salesmen! 2) As our state is on the brink of BANKRUPTCY, he has the history and the experience on bringing back something from nothing. 3) We need someone with some fresh ideas and someone that can think OUT OF THE BOX.
With Stormin Norm Coleman out of the picture…I’ll be looking forward to any or all of these great contenders to be throwing their hat into the ring! It sure would be a breath of fresh air from the other 29 boring candidates.