From monster to mayor? How Glenn Jacobs won a GOP primary

If you’re like me, you were shocked at the come-from-behind victory scored by Glenn Jacobs in the GOP mayoral primary in Knox County, Tennessee.

On Tuesday night, he earned a 17-vote win over two county commissioners with far more experience in the political realm than the man who portrays WWE’s Kane. There are 43 provisional ballots left to be counted, but it appears the nomination will belong to Jacobs.

Ultimately, the seat will likely be his. The Republican is heavily favored to win August’s general election.

If you were stunned by the win, you weren’t alone. His opponents were just as surprised by the results.

Brad Anders, who took second in the race, told Knoxville News Sentinel he expected to be neck-and-beck with rival Bob Thomas.

“It doesn’t make it any easier or any harder,” he told the Sentinel about Glenn’s surprising win. “It’s just 17 votes and you’re going to spend the next few days trying to figure out where those 17-18 votes were.”

So where were they? You have to attribute some of the support to Jacobs’ approach of bringing in top wrestling stars to greet voters and help fund raise. Over the last few months, he’s had some of wrestling’s biggest names to lend support to his campaign.

If you’ve followed Jacobs on Twitter, you’ll see he’s done a great job knocking on doors, shaking hands, and kissing babies. When it comes down to an election with 17 votes separating the candidates, every handshake counts.

While grassroots campaigning and unique fundraising certainly played a key role in his win, he’s also proven to be a viable speaker who knows his stuff. He held his own in debates against his GOP opponents, and his outsider, small-government approach has been a hit with voters.

As we saw in the 2016 presidential race, voters often want something different. They want change. They want an outsider.

Well, they got it.

This line from the Knoxville News Sentinel sums things up best:

“If there’s a more unconventional path to the Republican nomination for the highest office in the county, Glenn Jacobs would like to know what it is.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Austin Kellerman is an award-winning television journalist in Little Rock, Arkansas and lifelong professional wrestling fan.  He got his start in television as a producer, writer, and editor for independent wrestling shows in Dallas, Texas. You can follow him on Twitter @AKonWrestling and the website kellermanonwrestling.com.

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