Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, left, with Arnold Schwarzenegger at Ventura’s swearing-in ceremony in 1999. (RICHARD MARSHALL/AP)

Jan. 4, 1999 Well before a brash New York developer defeated one of the nation’s most established political figures, there was Jesse “The Body” Ventura, a former professional wrestler turned successful third-party candidate. On this day, Ventura, a member of the Reform Party, was sworn in as governor of Minnesota. “Ventura’s quixotic third party campaign and upset victory over two established career politicians electrified this state and the air has been supercharged ever since,” Jon Jeter wrote in The Washington Post at the time. As a pro wrestler, Ventura often wore a feather boa. But as governor, he made his name with more mundane initiatives such as an overhaul of the property-tax system. He left office after one term. More recently, he has been criticized for trying to collect a $1.8 million judgment in a defamation lawsuit against the late U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, author of the best-selling book “American Sniper.” Ventura said the backlash among veterans has made it hard for him to find work. He now stars in his own reality show on RT America, the Washington-based branch of Russian state television.

Annys Shin