Glenn Jacobs, his real name, is running for mayor of Knox County. The Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee appeared to have won the first-round election for the GOP nomination by defeating candidates Brad Anders and Bob Thomas by just 17 votes. Though all precincts have reported, provisional ballots are yet to be tallied in the incredibly close race, however.
“A monstrous abomination that seems to have been extracted directly from your childhood nightmares,” is how his character Kane, a three-time WWE Champion and world tag team Champion 12 times, was described in a character biography on the WWE company website. He was also the “storyline brother of The Undertaker” wrestler, as CBS Sports said, but Mr Jacobs’ election run seems to be a far cry from the over-the-top world of professional wrestling.
The 51-year-old can be seen in campaign photos sporting slightly more hair than his in-ring persona, donning polo shirts and khakis in lieu of a dark leather mask, while discussing low taxes, job creation, and improved infrastructure.
Despite running as a Republican, Mr Jacobs has been open in the past about espousing his libertarian political views, which promotes free will and the most minimal of state interventions in people’s lives. He even supported 2008 presidential candidate Ron Paul.
Mr Jacobs was born in Spain into a US Air Force family and grew up in St Louis, Missouri before earning a university degree from Truman State University. He had also hosted a podcast titled “The Tiny Political Show,” while speaking under the stage name Citizen X. He and his wife are also owners of an insurance company in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Though Mr Jacobs declared he was running for mayor in 2017, he has made the occasional appearance in the ring during his bid. Other professional wrestlers have also gone on to find political success, most notably Jesse "The Body" Ventura was the governor of Minnesota from 1999 to 2003 representing the Reform Party.
Official election results are not expected until next week. Should Mr Jacobs’ vote count hold, he is likely to win the seat given that the county is home to five times more Republicans than Democrats and Independents. Mr Jacobs would run against Democrat Linda Haney in the general election set for 2 August.
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