Through hell, fire, and brimstone, Glenn Jacobs captured last week’s Republican mayoral primary election in Knox County, Tennessee.
Jacobs won the primary by 23 votes over two other candidates seeking the party’s nomination, Brad Anders and Bob Thomas.
“It’s really humbling,” said Jacobs. “When you ask someone for their vote, you are asking them to place their confidence in you as the steward of the community, so it was humbling that people placed their faith and trust in me. I am thankful and honored for the opportunity.”
The 51-year-old Jacobs is no stranger to Knox County or Tennessee, having called the Volunteer State home since 1995. He and his wife, Crystal, also run Exit Realty in Knoxville.
“Knox County is home,” said Jacobs. “I love it here and I love the people.”
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Jacobs’ quest for the mayor’s seat is far from finished, as the primary served only as a qualifier for the general election. He is running against Democratic primary winner Linda Haney in the August 2 general election.
One of Jacobs’ greatest strengths during the buildup to the primary was his willingness to embrace a grassroots campaign. He and his team organized some engaging and creative events to raise awareness about his campaign, including ones with Daniel Bryan and the Undertaker. Within the world of WWE, Kane and the Undertaker are the Brothers of Destruction, and ’Taker was even willing to share some advice along the campaign trail.
“His advice was to work hard and stay true to what I believe,” said Jacobs. “He was always a great role model of mine. Night in and night out, he gave everything he could for the audience. That’s what I have always done in wrestling.”
Grassroots campaigning shares connective tissue with wrestling on the independent circuit, which is how Jacobs first entered the business in 1992.
“That translates to the political realm because you need to go out every day and give everything you have for your constituents and make sure their interests are represented,” said Jacobs. “I think that’s why, nowadays, we’re seeing this backlash against so-called career politicians.
“People don’t feel their interests are represented, but rather it is the interests of the people in political office that are all too often being represented. In the political realm, when I say I’m going to give everything, that means I’ll represent the people to the best of my ability.”
Jacobs noted that he has always had a keen interest in politics, which runs far deeper than titles and legislation.
“I look back on my life and the opportunities and accomplishments, and I realize how fortunate I’ve been,” said Jacobs. “What we do in WWE is not a sacrifice. Being out on the road all the time, and all the bumps and bruises, that sort of thing is difficult, but also a joy and a pleasure. It’s brought so much happiness into my life. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
“One of the wonderful things about America is it’s one of the only places in the world where we have the freedom to go out and build the lives that we want. I’ve been able to do that, and many, many other people have as well, and I want to make sure that the next generation has those opportunities. Freedom is a fleeting thing, and it’s something we treasure for future generations.”
The results of the primary election were close, but Jacobs found a way to emerge victorious through a team effort.
“I’m extremely grateful for it,” said Jacobs. “I just think we had a superior team. That’s really what any organization is about, building a great team, and that’s what I have around me.”
Justin Barrasso can be reached at JBarrasso@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @JustinBarrasso.