Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura was sworn in Monday, but not before paying off a crucial bank loan that fueled his campaign.
The former professional wrestler was rejected by more than a dozen banks and venture capitalists before $48 million-asset Franklin National Bank in Minneapolis, floated him a $310,000 loan on Oct. 22, two weeks before Election Day. The bank had never before lent money to a political campaign.
Gov. Ventura paid off the loan in mid-December, and Franklin threw a party for him Dec. 29. "Franklin Bank had the guts to make the loan," he told a crowd of nearly 100, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "Had they not, Jesse Ventura probably would not be the governor." Jim Shadko, Franklin's chief lending officer, called the publicity "a nice benefit, after the fact."