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The hulking mayor of a small town in Tennessee has been numerous issues in his life – an athlete, an entertainer, a film star, a recreation present winner and a fireball-shooting hellspawn seeking to burn his brother alive.
Glenn Jacobs, 55, is the mayor of Knox County, Tennessee. In 2018, the previous WWE champion adopted within the footsteps of Jesse Ventura and grew to become the second WWE star to occupy a public workplace within the U.S. The WWE famous person, identified by his ring title “Kane,” gained the race for mayor in Tennessee’s third-largest county. Jacobs handily defeated Democrat Linda Haney, with a lot of the votes counted in Knox County on Thursday, in keeping with unofficial returns.
“I all the time joke that due to my character, you understand – most politicians try to persuade those who the politician is the particular person they see on TV. I used to be attempting to persuade folks I used to be not the particular person they noticed on TV,” Jacobs informed Fox Information Digital in an unique interview.
Jacob’s character, Kane, debuted as a crimson, masked and mute demon who was half-brothers with fan-favorite famous person The Undertaker. Kane shocked the wrestling world with unprecedented pyrotechnics, a posh backstory and a darkish edge not seen in years. The pair of on-camera siblings grew to become one of many wrestling world’s most well-known and adorned tag groups – the Brothers of Destruction.
“As I acquired older, I acquired extra keen on politics – I’ve all the time taken an off-the-cuff curiosity in politics, since I used to be in highschool. I wasn’t in scholar authorities or something like that. However I all the time watched the information and was all the time [interested] in these issues,” Jacobs mentioned of his youthful years.
As he acquired older, Jacobs says he started asking himself questions like, “Why have I been blessed with an exquisite life?” and “How is that attainable?”
“It is due to the alternatives that we get right here in America, which emerge from what our nation was primarily based on, which is particular person liberty and free markets,” Jacobs informed Fox Information Digital. “And that simply actually resonated with me.”
Impressed to pursue politics by libertarian figures like former presidential candidate Ron Paul and others, Jacobs has previously been described as a libertarian. Nevertheless, the mayor has turn into extra intently related to the mainstream thread of the Republican Celebration following the victory of former President Donald Trump.
Jacobs says that it isn’t his politics which have modified, however the GOP’s platform.
“I feel what’s occurred is there’s been a a lot stronger libertarian wing of the Republican Celebration come to the forefront. I used to be an enormous supporter of Ron Paul when he ran for president in 2008, 2012,” Jacobs informed Fox Information. “I feel it actually began there.”
He continued, “We see folks like Rand Paul now – Thomas Massie, Mike Lee, Ted Cruz – I’ll not essentially agree with all of them on all the things, however nonetheless, the core thought is similar.”
Regardless of his libertarian background, he breaks with the group on some social views – notably his pro-life place on abortion. Jacobs can be a agency believer within the significance of church buildings and neighborhood communities for uniting underserved areas.
“You actually have to grasp the significance of social establishments just like the household and just like the church,” Jacobs says. “And, you understand, if you do not have these, authorities finally ends up changing them. And that is type of what we have seen taking place. So I do imagine that it will be important that we’ve got sturdy social establishments – the household, the church.”
When requested concerning the irony of his horrifying persona and his dedication to faith and small city values, Jacobs jokes, “That is why you would not need Kane to be the dictator – you don’t need anybody to be.”
“These are our native communities,” he mentioned. “That is actually what society is predicated on. So I feel that generally libertarians low cost that.”
Jacobs was born on a U.S. Air Power base in Madrid, Spain. After rising up in Missouri, he went to school on a basketball scholarship earlier than making the sudden soar to soccer. The large athlete had desires of the NFL, however a bum knee saved him from attempting to make the draft. An off-the-cuff fan of wrestling, Jacobs thought it will be an attention-grabbing sport to strive – he ended up making the WWE Corridor of Fame in 2021.
Whilst his on-screen persona, Jacobs has proven an intelligence that bucks the stereotypes of the large, jarhead wrestler. Kane gained the WWE version of the sport present “The Weakest Hyperlink,” securing $82,000 for St. Jude’s Youngsters’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.
Jacobs speaks bluntly concerning the successes and stumbles of Knox County. The opioid epidemic has left a deep scar within the space’s youth, and homelessness spiked as a result of rampant dependancy. The mayor says he tries to be as upfront together with his constituents as attainable, on each the nice and the unhealthy.
Conversely, Jacobs touts the rise of tourism in his space, in addition to an inflow of funding and out-of-state transplants. He attributes this important uptick to the state’s disregard for federal COVID-19 mandates, saying, “We didn’t go practically so far as different locations did. The governor had a ‘safer-at-home’ order for every week or two, after which I feel he lifted it, however I do not suppose anyone paid consideration to it anyway. To his credit score, that was the [only] factor he did that I did not agree with.”
“The general public that I take care of listed here are good folks. I do not all the time agree with them, however they have no nefarious intentions behind what they do. However I do suppose that whenever you get – particularly to the federal stage – there are some people who find themselves extraordinarily energy hungry and can say or do something to remain in energy.”
Jacobs intends to remain as distant from the “energy hungry” federal stage as attainable, saying he has little interest in a run for Congress or the Senate.
“I am operating for re-election proper now, and that is what I am actually concentrating on. I’ve no curiosity in any respect in going to Washington, D.C,” he acknowledged. “Sadly, I imagine the federal authorities is fairly damaged.”
Jacobs says optimistic change and progress for rural communities wants to start out at residence, and native politics will show to be infinitely extra related to residents’ day after day lives than the lawmakers of D.C.
Requested if he sees a cultural divide increasing between the left and proper, Jacobs believes there are basically good folks on all sides of politics, however the loudest and most aggressive are dominating the discourse.
“There’s a tradition warfare occurring,” Jacobs mentioned. “I feel most individuals really do not care what people do. They’re simply uninterested in getting it shoved of their face. They’re uninterested in getting preached at, screamed at, referred to as racist, homophobes, bigots, and all the things else simply because they won’t agree with some issues.”
He continued, “I feel what’s occurred is the woke folks have actually overplayed their hand. And you understand, the remainder of the nation – who most likely makes up the overwhelming majority of individuals – are actually uninterested in being denigrated only for expressing their opinions.”
Now, in 2022, Jacobs is operating for re-election. He introduced his choice early final yr with an announcement boasting his accomplishments via the pandemic and financial uncertainty.
“4 years in the past, I pledged to remain true to my conservative values as mayor. No one might have envisioned a pandemic and the financial shutdown that adopted, however I’m proud Knox County has been in a position to climate the storm with no tax improve,” Jacobs informed local outlets.
“By tightening our belt and making good cuts, we balanced our funds whereas persevering with to make forward-thinking investments in our group. If re-elected, the general public can count on 4 extra years of management with conservative values high of thoughts,” he added.
Fox Information’ Steve Credo and Benjamin Brown contributed to this report.