ST. PAUL, Minn. – The governors of Minnesota and Pennsylvania both played pranks on reporters Monday, announcing bogus re-election campaigns as an April Fool's Day joke.
Gov. Jesse Ventura emerged from his office in St. Paul, Minn., for a news conference clad in black, with a stern look on his face. He had two important things to say.
The first: "I'm here to tell you this morning that yes, I will be seeking another term as governor of the state of Minnesota."
The second: "April Fools."
Ventura has declined for months to say whether he will run for a second term in November, and he said after Monday's prank that he still hasn't made up his mind.
In Harrisburg, Pa., Gov. Mark Schweiker's office issued a "news release" announcing that he had changed his mind and had decided to run for a full term.
The tongue-in-cheek release included clues that it was a hoax, including a campaign manager named April Phuels.
Schweiker was elevated to governor in October after Gov. Tom Ridge became national homeland security director. Schweiker said even before he was sworn in that he would not seek a full term.
Ventura, elected in 1998 as a third-party candidate, has been slipping in popularity recently.
The state's largest newspaper, the Star Tribune of Minneapolis, had sent six reporters and a photographer to the news conference.
Ventura said afterward: "I played a joke on everyone."