Jacobs, a Republican who also runs an insurance and real estate company, was leading Democrat Linda Haney by a large margin with most of the votes counted in Knox County on Thursday.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reports Jacobs claimed victory at his watch party, saying his decision to seek the mayor’s job was met at first with “resounding laughter” from some politicians.
The 51-year-old Republican ran on issues like keeping taxes low, improved infrastructure and “transparency.”
He is the second WWE star to win public office in the U.S. Jesse (The Body) Ventura was elected mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minn., in 1990. He went on to be elected state governor in 1998.
“Millions of people have watched me perform live,” Jacobs wrote on his campaign website. “Who would have thought that all this could happen to a guy like me? Well, it could only happen in America.”
Jacobs won a close primary in May. Results of the primary were delayed when the county’s election reporting website crashed after a concerted cyberattack that experts deemed “malicious.”
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Haney ran small businesses with her husband before she retired. She was considered an underdog in the solidly-Republican county.
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Many names from the wrestling world reacted to the news of Jacob’s victory.
—With files from the Associated PressFollow @KatieScottNews
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