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Ventura Letter to Reform Party Members

June 28, 1999

Dear National Reform Party Delegates,

I have received numerous requests from Reform Party members to attend the upcoming National Reform Party convention and seek a national party leadership position. As I've stated in the past, I will not be seeking a formal party leadership position in the foreseeable future. My first priority is to the people of Minnesota who elected me as their governor.

The party leadership I am providing is leadership by example. Having been elected as our nation's first Reform Party governor, it is essential that I succeed. Minnesota's experiment with tri-partisan government is in the national spotlight. I must not fail, and I will not fail. Governing a state is hard work. It leaves little time for national party politics. We are changing lives for the better in Minnesota. I don't want to take my eye off the ball by becoming overly involved in party affairs.

It is also important to build the party in Minnesota so we can elect Reform Party candidates to our State Legislature in 2000. While Lt. Governor Mae Schunk and I have received high praise for the job we did in our first few months in office, we can do an even better job if we have Reform Party members seated in the Legislature. The Democrats and Republicans will fight hard to keep their seats. Minnesota Reform Party candidates will need my help to win. By electing more Reform Party members to public office, we'll not only help ourselves in Minnesota, we'll also continue to set a successful example for other states to study and follow.

While I will not be seeking a formal national party leadership position, I'm pleased to endorse a man who is. His name is Jack Gargan. I urge all National Reform Party delegates to support and vote for Mr. Gargan for National Reform Party Chair, and for the Gargan-endorsed slate for the other national party offices.

It's no secret that except for Minnesota and perhaps one or two other states, the National Reform Party has declined dramatically in recent years. We can turn that around. To do so, party members in all states must focus on supporting candidates and winning elections at all levels of government - everything from city hall to the White House, including county offices, state legislative seats and the U. S. Congress. No election is too small. No office is unimportant.

In Minnesota, we began by winning one or two here and there. They added up as our support base grew over the years. Then we scored big in 1998. The same thing can happen in other states, and ultimately nationwide, if our party leaders focus on supporting candidates and winning elections.

Jack Gargan is such a leader. He is the candidate for national party chair I have full confidence in. Mr. Gargan's credentials as a true reformer predate those of most Reform Party members. Over the years he has built or helped build impressive organizations, and run exemplary campaigns for political reform. His reform credentials, organization building skills and candidate experience make him uniquely qualified to address the challenges the national party faces today.

Mr. Gargan tells me that if elected as national party chair, he will immediately move the national party headquarters to Florida. Like me, he is deeply troubled by the current state of the party's rules. Mr. Gargan assures me that as soon as the party headquarters is established in Florida, he will next focus on reforming the party's rules and power structure. Like me, Mr. Gargan believes party rules should vest power at the grass-roots level, empower all members equally, hold party leaders accountable to the members, and create a fair and open playing field for any candidate who may seek the party's nomination for president.

I trust Jack Gargan. As National Reform Party chair, he would be a leader we could all be proud of. With his experienced hand on the wheel and my public support, we can do much to re-inspire the millions of Americans who rose for political reform in 1992. Together, Jack Gargan and I can help make the Minnesota miracle happen in other states. With Jack Gargan as National Reform Party Chair, the party can become hopeful once again and prove worthy of its name.

As I said above, Jack Gargan is the candidate for national party chair that I have confidence in. He is clearly the most qualified and capable candidate in the race. If the convention delegates are not willing to elect and support the best person for the job, I'll remain reluctant to fully embrace the National Reform Party. I'll be pleased to keep my party activities within Minnesota's borders, leading by example as I have been doing. And I'll keep my national party options open.


Jesse Ventura Governor of Minnesota

Prepared and paid for by the Jesse Ventura Volunteer Committee PO Box 397 Circle Pines, MN 55014 Office: (612) 585-0102 Fax: (612) 585-0315