Glenn Jacobs, aka WWE champion Kane, led the three-way GOP primary for Knox County, Tennessee mayor by just 17 votes on election night after the polls closed. Once officials sifted through 43 provisional ballots today that were set aside for technical reasons on Tuesday, Jacobs emerged the winner by 23 votes over second-place finisher Brad Anders, who picked up just one to Jacobs’ seven. Bob Thomas, in a distant third place, added four votes to his tally. More than 40,000 votes were cast in the primary.
Despite the narrow margin, there apparently will be no recount, as Anders, a county commissioner, has already offered his congratulations to now-nominee Jacobs, Knox News reported. Knox County will formally certify the results on May 21.
Now that he is officially the Republican nominee, Jacobs, 51, will face Democrat Linda Haney in the main event, as it were, on August 2. Barring the unforeseen, Glenn Jacobs is considered a strong favorite, if not a lock, to win the general election in the GOP-leaning county.
Kane is a three-time professional wrestling world champion, having won title belts in the WWF, ECW, and WWE. He is a 12-time world tag team champion and two-time Intercontinental champion, as well as the 2004 Money in the Bank winner. Kane was on the card for WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans on April 8, where he competed in the 30-man Battle Royal for the Andre the Giant Memorial Trophy.
Wrestling luminaries such as The Undertaker, Rick Flair, Daniel Bryan, and Mick Foley, among many others, supported Jacobs’ candidacy.
Provisional ballots are counted... I'm proud to be the official Republican nominee for Knox County mayor! Thanks to the @knoxvotes for your exemplary work and ensuring an open and transparent process.— Glenn Jacobs (@GlennJacobsTN) May 3, 2018
Upon learning that the primary election was deemed final, Glenn Jacobs expressed gratitude that Knoxville-area voters have placed their trust in him. He also thanked his opponents in the primary campaign for the exemplary way they conducted themselves during the campaign.
First remarks from Glenn Jacobs after winning republican nominee for Knox Co. mayor pic.twitter.com/rwlKWjT8is— Robert Grant (@RobertGrantWVLT) May 3, 2018
In an interview with Neil Cavuto on the Fox News Channel that aired Monday, which is embedded below, Jacobs acknowledged that his wrestling background helped him get a foot in the door with voters. He added that many people are fed-up with career politicians, which also gave him a boost, beyond just merely being considered a novelty candidate.
“Whether you’re on the left or you’re on the right, we can see the government doesn’t work for you, and people are looking for folks who will work for them,” he explained.
Jacobs chided his own party for sometimes abandoning principles such as limited government, fiscal conservatism, and individual freedom once they get into office.
The wrestler said that he threw his hat in the political, rather than the wrestling, ring because he wants to make Knox County even better than it already is. His platform included low taxes, job growth, and improving the quality of education and rebuilding the infrastructure. Jacobs, who has in the past has described himself as a libertarian, has resided in the Knoxville area with his family since 1995 and operates an insurance agency there.
Glenn Jacobs, aka Kane, separately told Knox News that, “I believe in the American dream. I believe in the people of Knox County, and I’m a small government conservative. I believe individual liberty and the free market system…I believe those things to my very core.”
BREAKING: Brad Anders congratulates Glenn Jacobs in Knox County Mayoral race. pic.twitter.com/CeCon4ziJU— Robert Grant (@RobertGrantWVLT) May 3, 2018
Watch WWE wrestler Kane, who, as soft-spoken Glenn Jacobs, is likely to be the next Knox County mayor, address his supporters on election night.