WWE Wrestler Wins Tennessee Mayoral Smackdown

Glenn Jacobs reacts to early results predicting him Knox County Mayor at the Crowne Plaza on election day in Knox County Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018.
Caitie McMekin/Knoxville News Sentinel

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A former WWE wrestler known as Kane has won a “no-holds-barred, last-man-standing” round, this time in the political ring.

Glenn Jacobs went by Kane in the WWE. Now the 6-foot-8, 300-pound Republican has the title of Knox County Mayor.

Jacobs runs an insurance and real estate company and was leading Democrat Linda Haney by a large margin with most of the votes counted on Thursday. The Knoxville News Sentinel reports Jacobs claimed victory at his watch party. He said some politicians responded with “pretty resounding laughter” when he announced his decision to seek the top job in Tennessee’s third-largest county.

Jacobs said he doesn’t normally use wrestling analogies for campaigning.

“But this professional wrestler got into a no-holds-barred, last-man-standing match, and when the bell rung, he was victorious,” he said. “We were victorious.”

Jacobs won a close primary in May. Those results were delayed when the county’s election-reporting website crashed after a concerted cyberattack that experts deemed “malicious.”

County officials said no voting data was affected, the vulnerability was fixed, and additional safeguards were put in place.

Haney ran small businesses with her husband before she retired, and was considered an underdog in the solidly Republican county.

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