wacky racers

It’s election season, and that means you can count on at least one candidate in Minnesota running an offbeat campaign, taking a page from successful past efforts by U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone and Gov. Jesse Ventura.

“We’re the campaign doing it this year,” said Jim Cousins, advertising director for Ken Pentel, who’s running for governor on the Green Party ticket. “We’re actually going for the same voters as Jesse Ventura did in his campaign.”

Created by a team of freelancers, Pentel’s humorous television spots look to dispel several “Green Party myths,” such as “they’re a bunch of tree huggers.”

“We don’t hug them,” Pentel says earnestly in one spot. “We do give them an encouraging pat sometimes.”

Though Minnesota voters have been swayed by offbeat tactics before, Pentel is running a distant fourth in the race behind Democrat Roger Moe, Republican Tim Pawlenty and independent Tim Penny, according to a Minneapolis Star Tribune poll.