Glenn Jacobs, a 7ft wrestler who was one of WWE’s biggest draws during the early 2000s, has won the Republican primary in Knox County, Tennessee, and is set to become a candidate for mayor.
Jacobs, known as Kane for most of his wrestling career, claimed victory by just 17 votes and will run against Democrat Linda Haney in August’s mayoral election if the result is certified later this month. Knox County’s current mayor, Tim Burchett, is a Republican and the area has gone to the GOP candidate in every presidential election since 1944.
Jacobs appeared as various characters in WWE, including a dentist called Isaac Yankem, before achieving fame as Kane who the wrestling organization described as teh half-brother of The Undertaker and “a monstrous abomination that seems to have been extracted directly from your childhood nightmares.”
The 51-year-old Jacobs was born into a military family and studied English literature at college, where he also played basketball and football. He has been vocal about his libertarian views throughout his wrestling career and on his campaign website says he aims to keep taxes low and put forth “a fresh outlook on limited government”.
Jacobs supported libertarian Ron Paul in the 2008 presidential election and said he would like to see “the IRS eliminated and … income tax ended”.
In 2014 he spoke to Fox Business about his political views. “There are things that I can agree with from both sides: perhaps the civil libertarian issues of the left and also the economic freedom issues of the right while still rejecting the big government tendencies of both sides of the political spectrum,” he said. “The great thing about libertarianism is it really is the American Dream: It’s the ability of everybody to live their life and build their life according to what they want, so long as they don’t hurt anybody else.”
If Jacobs wins the mayoral race he will follow the lead of former WWE star Jesse “The Body” Ventura who became mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, in 1991 before being elected the state’s governor in 1999. Linda McMahon, the former CEO of WWE, serves as Administrator of the Small Business Administration in the Donald Trump government.