KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — When Glenn Jacobs’s treasurer filed the necessary paperwork for a potential political campaign last month, it became national news that the World Wrestling Entertainment star known as “Kane” might run for mayor of Knox County, TN.
On Tuesday Jacobs made it official. Speaking to a crowd at Sweet P’s Barbecue and Soul House, the pro wrestler announced his intention to seek the Republican nomination for mayor.
“As Knox County mayor I promise to keep taxes low and make Knox County a place everyone can be proud of,” Jacobs promised. “I see my role as that of a facilitator among the different communities in our area. And also I think that Mayor Burchett has done a very good job with transparency in government and I would continue along those lines.”
The 2018 election for Knox County mayor will be for an open seat to replace the outgoing occupant Tim Burchett.
Jacobs focused on the themes of jobs, education and smaller government, repeating a version of Ronald Reagan’s conservative mantra that “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”
Glenn Jacobs announcing his bid for mayor
The WWE star told Rare on Tuesday that his belief in free markets and individual liberty were part of what interested him in becoming involved in politics, and he saw his Republican brand as being similar to that of libertarians like Sen. Rand Paul, Reps. Justin Amash and Thomas Massie, and also his own congressman, Rep. Jimmy Duncan.
Jacobs has lived in Knox County for over two decades, roughly the same amount of time his “Kane” character has endured as one of the top stars in the pro wrestling industry.
“For the past 22 years I’ve had the pleasure of living here in East Tennessee,” Jacobs said on Tuesday. “Because my career with the WWE has taken me all around the world on a weekly basis, me family and I could live pretty much anywhere in the U.S.”
“We live here because we want to,” Jacobs said to applause. “We live here because we love it here.”
Jacobs and his wife Crystal own an insurance agency in the Knoxville area.
At least two other challengers for mayor are expected to run, including County Commissioner Bob Thomas, who has already announced, and Knox County Sheriff Jimmy Jones.
Though Jacobs wrestled under other monikers prior for a number of years, his “Kane” character was introduced to WWE fans in 1997.
Disclosure: Glenn Jacobs is a Rare contributor.