The nearly seven-foot-tall, three-hundred-plus pound internationally-renowned WWE pro wrestler and local insurance businessman Glenn “Kane” Jacobs has declared victory in the Republican primary for mayor of Knox Co., Tennessee, the deeply-Republican county seat of Knoxville and home to the University of Tennessee.
According to WATE-TV with 100 percent of precincts reporting, Jacobs narrowly prevailed by a 17-vote lead. While 43 provisional ballots, many of which lack voter registration information, still must be evaluated to determine if they should be counted, the outcome is not expected to change before the official results are announced next week.
The Republican primary was a hard-fought triple-threat match between Jacobs and popular local county commissioners Brad Anders and Bob Thomas. Thomas, a former local radio personality who also appeared in movies like Friday Night Lights, is the father of actor Jake Thomas of the show Lizzie McGuire on the Disney Channel.
24 Wrestling notes that many WWE superstars, including Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Titus O’Neil, Natalya, and Goldust took to social media on election day to encourage their fans in the area to vote for Jacobs.
“You better vote for Kane or he’ll hit you with that fire, brother,” joked iconic pro wrestler Hulk Hogan in comments to TMZ. “He’s a sharp guy so I hope he does well there.”
Jacobs is now set to face former Knox Co. Democratic Party chair Linda Haney in the August 2 general election.
The libertarian-leaning Republican Jacobs, a friend and supporter of former Texas U.S. Congressman Ron Paul and current U.S. Senator from Kentucky Rand Paul, evoked Reagan to describe his leadership style on his campaign website.
Jacobs told Fox News, “Knox County, Tennessee is a great place to live, work and raise a family. And I just want it to see it become even better. And I think that I can have a small part in doing that… But, really, it’s — the motto of my campaign was together we win. And I really believe that I can hopefully bring all of us in our community, in Knox County, together to build an even better place.”
He added, “I think, as Republicans, we have to stick by what we believe in. And that is fiscal conservatism and individual freedom. And I think what happens is when Republicans get into positions of power, they forget about that. And in many cases, they become part of the problem.”
Jacobs most popular in-ring wrestling persona is the masked Kane, the Undertaker’s deranged pyromaniac half-brother. Kane is a 3-time world champion, 16-time tag-team champion, 2-time intercontinental champion, Money in the Bank winner, and a Grand Slam champion. Jacobs holds the most eliminations in Royal Rumble matches and also has appeared in more pay-per-view matches than any wrestler in WWE history.
Jacobs’ Democratic opponent Linda Haney said, describing her campaign approach, “I know they’ll probably think I’m a fly on the wall, and I plan to be a very vocal fly. And I plan to really work hard and gain the trust of the people of Knox County.”