KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. – The Big Red Machine has been elected to political office.
Glenn Jacobs – better known as WWE wrestler Kane – won his bid for Knox County, Tennessee mayor after roundly defeating his opponent, Linda Haney. He had the Democratic nominee on the ropes in Thursday’s election, tallying twice as many votes – 51,804 to Haney’s 26,224.
It was a much easier victory than his primary win over fellow Republican Brad Anders, who took the wrestling superstar to the mat – Jacobs only won that race by a 23 vote margin.
In his wrestling persona, Jacobs, most often a “heel” or villain, is a fan favorite. He has previously wrestled in a red mask, giving rise to his nickname.
He was already winding down his wrestling career before he ran for office, according to Bleacher Report.
His new responsibility, Knox County, is home to the city of Knoxville and is the third-most populous county in Tennessee.
A self described “farm boy from rural Missouri,” Jacobs was aiming for a career in pro football before a knee injury shattered those dreams. The injury allowed him to instead focus on wrestling and after several years of performing in local competitions he signed for the WWE in 1995. He debuted the Kane character two years later.
Described as “a monstrous abomination that seems to have been extracted directly from your childhood nightmares” in his character’s WWE bio, the wrestler weighs over 320 lbs and stands at 7 ft.
His final WWE appearance – assuming he doesn’t mount a post-politics comeback – was an Extreme Rules SmackDown Live tag team championship match, which he and partner Daniel Bryan lost to the Bludgeon Brothers, according to Bleacher Report.
The US wrestling organization congratulated Jacobs in a tweet late Thursday evening.
Jacobs will be the second major, former professional wrestler to hold public office in the US – in 1998 Jesse “The Body” Ventura was elected governor of Minnesota on the third-party Reform Party ticket, after serving as mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota from 1991 to 1995.
In 2016 he mulled a third-party tilt at the presidency, but ultimately threw his weight behind Donald Trump.