Tennessee politician Brad Anders thought he had it locked.
Running for Knox County Mayor as a republican, Anders, a career government employee and politician only spent 56% of the $221,300 he had raised for his campaign.
On May 1st, Anders lost the mayoral race by only seventeen votes.
The victor was a man used to winning in life, but never in politics . . . former WWE Superstar, Glenn Jacobs, also known as “Kane.”
Glenn, who was billed as being seven feet tall during his 25 year wrestling career, has also been a lifelong libertarian.
Within libertarian circles, Jacobs was a frequent attendee of libertarian philosophical and political events – not as the headlining star, but as a “regular joe” interested in learning more about pro-liberty thought.
In 2017, Jacobs decided to apply his knowledge and entered the race to become Knox County’s next mayor.
With few ties to the Knox county political establishment and immediately seen as an “outsider” by the local republican party, Jacobs faced an uphill battle despite his fame among wrestling fans.
Anders who has served as a police officer in his home county for 25 years as well as being a county commissioner for the last decade, thought he had the race locked as donations flowed in from construction developers and endorsements rang from the county Sheriff and the largest paper in the area, the Knoxville News Sentinel.
Anders’ campaign had all of the benefits of an establishment race with success on the horizon.
What Anders and the local republican party didn’t anticipate is the anti-establishment wave that has been growing since the 2009, has finally crashed down on the local level.
To their surprise, and likely their horror, a hardcore libertarian was riding that wave.
While Glenn Jacobs didn’t campaign on larger issues that tie into his philosophical foundation, he has never hid his beliefs.
In a column on privacy Jacobs wrote in 2014, “The idea that government can protect us is patently absurd. All the government can do is destroy our liberties while promoting the illusion of safety.”
The article is just one of hundreds of articles and interviews the soon-to-be-mayor has done that focuses on his libertarian beliefs.
As a candidate, Jacobs’ only hint of his philosophy was noted as the seventh item in his issue statement, “a fresh outlook on limited government.”
By comparison, Anders’ top issue was “Opioid abuse.”
Regardless of the issue or even if voters knew that their possible new mayor is a die-hard libertarian, those casting their vote clearly supported a change away from traditional politicians to try someone new on the local level.
Jacobs will face a democrat opponent in the General Election held on August 2nd.