Knox County’s probable new mayor has been a wrestling libertarian

Former professional wrestler Glenn Jacobs’ win in the Republican primary for Knox County mayor – which usually means assured victory in the general election against the Democratic nominee – has inspired the inevitable comparison with former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura, who was mayor of a Minnesota town before his election as that state’s governor.

In a lengthy report on pro wrestlers as politicians, the News Sentinel says Jacobs “is expected to win handily” over Democrat Linda Haney, and includes comments from Gov. Bill Haslam (who, if Jacobs is elected in August, will be a constituent, assuming he returns to Knoxville) and a Ventura aide. Excerpt:

John Wodele was a Ventura aide serving as spokesman and political adviser for the former wrestler during his time as governor. He said people shouldn’t be surprised that wrestlers like Jacobs and Ventura have been successful.

“I mean, I would just say that in our democratic elected republic maybe it’s unusual that these wrestlers are running for office, but given the way that the WWE and other wrestling entertainment factions operate these days, they’re well-known people and they start with a base and there’s no reason they can’t run and can’t be successful,” Wodele said.

“I know a lot of people stick up their nose at wrestlers, and they did that to Ventura and he ended up looking down on them and I think that’s wonderful, I really do,” he (Jacobs) said.

…Haslam said being a mayor is an “incredibly important” position. When asked, Haslam said he’d emphasize to Jacobs that the role isn’t a political one.

“Having said that, Knox County government is like the city of Knoxville and the state of Tennessee, it’s a big service organization, we provide a lot of services to folks,” he said. “So, it’s critical that people in leadership positions understand that at the end of the day this is really not a political job. It’s about providing services all across the city or the county or the state.”

A separate article characterizes Jacobs politically as a libertarian, though he “toned down the rhetoric on the campaign trail over the past year” as compared to earlier writings and statements. And he was endorsed in his campaign by U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.

Both were featured speakers at an event for the libertarian youth activist group Young Americans for Liberty in Atlanta last year.

“(Jacobs’) small government and pro-liberty philosophy of government – on education, the economy, regulation, taxes and more – is exactly what we need more of in our politics,” Paul said. “It’s why I think Glenn would be an excellent choice for mayor of Knox County.”

One Response to Knox County’s probable new mayor has been a wrestling libertarian

  • Tommy Ray McAnally says:

    How could be any WORSE THAN HASLAM? Glen might and could put a full Nelson on the undocumented.

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