Glenn Jacobs, best known as his towering seven foot tall professional wrestling persona “Kane,” has won a bid to become the next mayor of Knox County in Tennessee on Thursday night.
Jacobs, who ran as the Republican nominee, portrayed the demonic character for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) since 1997, and announced his intentions of running for mayor in April, 2017. He was last seen on WWE television in November 2016, when he defeated Luke Harper on SmackDown Live.
The WWE legend is now the mayor of Knox County after defeating his Democratic opponent Linda Haney. He easily defeated Haney in Thursday’s election, tallying twice as many votes — 51,804 to Haney’s 26,224, according to CNN.
Here’s what you need to know about Jacobs’ political views:
1. He Took a Different Approach to Campaigning, Running a Pro-Free Market Limited Government Platform
Describing himself as “a farm boy from rural Missouri,” on his campaign page, Jacobs ran for the Republican seat for Knox County mayor. His campaign site states that, as mayor, he has seven primary areas of focus, and aims to “deliver results for the citizens of Knox County.” Those seven issues that Jacobs plans to tackle include:
- Committed to keeping taxes low
- Renewed focus on quality of education
- Continue to attract new jobs to the area
- Improve our roads and infrastructure
- Full and absolute transparency
- Work to create safer communities
- A fresh outlook on limited government
Jacobs operated a different kind of campaign for his first time running for office, running on a pro-free market limited government platform, according to the Bleacher Report. He also had the advantage of being a wrestling celebrity, which he combined with his libertarian-conservative political brand to attract support from those in his county and beyond.
“There is currently tremendous dissatisfaction with the political establishment,” Jacobs told the Washington Examiner, when sizing up his chances for the primary. “This gives liberty-minded candidates—small government conservatives—a great opportunity to win office at all levels of government and effect positive change in our country.”
2. Despite The Republican Nomination, Jacobs Politically Identifies as a Libertarian & Calls Libertarianism “The American Dream”
In an interview with Fox Business, Jacobs said that he has beliefs that stem from both the left and right, citing civil libertarian issues from the left and economic freedom issues from the right.
“The great thing about Libertarianism is it really is the American dream,” he told Fox Business. “It’s the ability of everybody to live their life, build their life, according to what they want, so long as you don’t hurt anyone else.”
Jacobs has also stated that he considered himself a socialist in college, but his beliefs changed when he graduated and entered the real world.
“By the time I was at college, I had been indoctrinated into the socialist thinking,” he said. “Then I got out into the real world, and I’m like, ‘Man, someone actually has to pay for this stuff, and it seems to be me a lot of the time.’”
3. Before He Ran For Office, Jacobs Helped Found The Tennessee Liberty Alliance & Was a Speaker for Libertarian Group Young Americans for Liberty
Long before he decided to run for mayoral candidate, Jacobs was already heavily involved in politics. According to the Washington Examiner, he helped found the limited government Tennessee Liberty Alliance and was a regular on the libertarian program “Kennedy” on Fox Business.
The Washington Examiner also reports that Jacobs was also a speaker for a libertarian youth activist group called Young Americans for Liberty and he spoke a the Foundation of Economic Education’s national conference last August. Rand Paul endorsed Jacobs in May, 2017.
Jacobs explained some of his libertarian influences on “Kennedy” in April, stating: “It’s so wonderful to see the emergence of Sen. Rand Paul, Thomas Massie, Justin Amash, Mike Lee, those guys that are pulling the Republican Party in the direction of liberty and free markets,” Jacobs said.
4. Jacobs Endorsed Ron Paul in 2008 But Didn’t Offer an Endorsement for Donald Trump During the 2016 Election
In 2008, Jacobs endorsed Ron Paul for president, but during the 2016 election it was unclear if he supported Donald Trump as he didn’t offer many comments about him, nor did he endorse him as he did for Paul in 2008. However, he wasn’t shy about sharing his views on Hillary Clinton, claiming she was “out of touch with the American people.”
He also criticized the Republican party during the election, stating that it needed to “get back to its principles.”
“The Republican establishment is being torn down, and they’re running scared,” he told The Blaze. “If the Republican Party were to get back to its principles – which are essentially libertarian, which means individual liberty and economic freedom – they would offer something completely different than what they do now and what the democrats do.”
Jacobs has stated that he looks up to former President Ronald Reagan and modeled his campaign based on Reagan’s principles.
He wrote on his campaign page that “President Reagan used to depict America as the Shining City on the Hill, an example to the rest of the world of what freedom looks like. I believe that we can make Knox County an example to America of what happens when all of us work together to make our communities stronger, our schools better, and our economy more powerful.”
5. Jacobs Used To “Deplore Politics” & Claimed He Would Never Run For Office
Jacobs used to give lectures and interviews about Keynesian versus Austrian economics, post endorsement videos of Libertarian candidates, and frequently update his political blog, Adventures of Citizen X: Being Free in the Land of the Free, according to Hollowverse.
However, despite how politically involved he was, Jacobs used to deny rumors that he would ever run for office, because he “actually deplore[s] politics.” He claims he was very active in politics for years because he “wants it out of his life,” Hollowverse reports.
Government it’s in my wallet, it’s in everything I do. You have to ask permission to do this, you have to ask permission to do that. I’m of the philosophy that so long as your actions don’t hurt anyone else, you should be free to be in control of your lives.