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Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura (Image: Freedom to Marry via Flickr)

Ventura says he won’t run for president in 2016

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura says he won’t run for president.

Ventura had said earlier that he was considering a possible presidential campaign. But in a statement posted Thursday to his “Off the Grid” website, he says he “unequivocally” will not run.

The 64-year-old Ventura says he’d love to debate Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, but he knows he’d win, and he doesn’t want the job of president.

Ventura says he issued the statement to end speculation that he would get into the race.

On Sunday, the Libertarian Party nominated former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson as its presidential candidate. Ventura’s statement was issued before that, but it says he’d probably give his support to Johnson if the party nominated him.

Ventura’s announcement was first reported by the Star Tribune.

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This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Clinton’s first name.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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