celebrities

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.”

Provisional ballots add to former pro wrestler’s victory margin in Knox County GOP mayor contest

With provisional ballots counted, former professional wrestler Glenn Jacobs’ Republican primary victory in this week’s Knox County mayoral election increased from 17 votes to 23, reports the News Sentinel. Runner-up Brad Anders, a county commissioner, conceded once the final unofficial count was completed.

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Lee gets celebrity help in seeking evangelical vote (‘God can work through him’)

Williamson County businessman Bill Lee has five celebrities serving as “honorary co-chairs” in a listing of his gubernatorial campaign supporters called  “Community and Faith-Based Advisory Council.”  Celebrities are country music star Ricky Skaggs, former Nashville Predators captain Mike Fisher, former NASCAR driver Darrell Waltrip along with gospel singers Steven Curtis Chapman and Michael W. Smith.

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Songwriter abandons bid for 7th Congressional District seat

Just a month after announcing he would seek the Republican nomination in the 7th Congressional District, country music songwriter Lee Thomas Miller has changed his mind.

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Haslam to consider clemency for reported sex abuse victim who committed murder at age 16

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam says his administration has begun gathering information on Cyntoia Brown, a Nashville woman whose murder conviction has become a cause célèbre, reports WPLN. But a decision on whether to grant her clemency is unlikely to come until the last days of his term in January, 2019, in keeping with a tradition established by predecessors.

Brown was convicted more than a decade ago for the murder of a Nashville man. Advocates for Brown say she was caught up in a so-called “sexual abuse-to-prison pipeline.” At 16 years old at the time of the crime, Brown says she was the victim of sex trafficking.

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Republican songwriter announces for 7th Congressional District seat

Prominent Nashville songwriter Lee Thomas Miller has officially announced his run for Congress to represent Tennessee, reports tasteofcountry.com.

Miller is a songwriter behind numerous country hits, including the No. 1 hits “The Impossible” for Joe Nichols, “The World”, “I’m Still a Guy” and “Perfect Storm” for Brad Paisley, “You’re Gonna Miss This” for Trace Adkins, Terri Clark’s “I Just Wanna Be Mad” and Tim McGraw’s “Southern Girl.” “You’re Gonna Miss This,” “The Impossible” and Jamey Johnson’s “In Color” were also nominated for Grammy Awards for Best Country Song. Miller is running for the District 7 House seat that U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn has held since 2002. Blackburn is vacating the seat to run for the Senate.

“I’ve been writing the stories of real Americans for as long as I can remember,” Miller said in a press release (and video, above) announcing his candidacy Tuesday (Nov. 14). “Stories about life and loss. Love and regret. Songs about innocence and youth. Songs about faith and the struggle to keep it. I give a voice to those who can not find the words they are looking for. I give a voice to those who are not being heard.”

…The songwriter is running as a Republican, and he lists religious liberties, a pro-life stance, cutting taxes and regulations and border security as key items he supports. Prior to his announcement, a number of top Nashville music business leaders signed a letter of support for his candidacy, including Curb Records CEO Mike Curb, songwriters Luke Laird, Liz Rose and busbee, and Brad Paisley and Dustin Lynch.

Songwriter/conservative activist eyes run for 7th Congressional District seat

Lee Thomas Miller, a country music songwriter prominent in the industry both for his hits and his advocacy for conservative causes, is on the verge of joining the field of Republicans who want to succeed Rep. Marsha Blackburn in the 7th Congressional District seat.

So reports the Nashville Post, following up on Miller comments reported in Tennessee Star on Monday as creating “a lot of buzz” and adding a bit more commentary.

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Peyton Manning: No to Senate race, yes to Alzheimer’s research

Football star Peyton Manning told a Nashville sports radio station Wednesday that he won’t run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, according to the Associated Press.

“I certainly have an interest in politics and in our country,” the former NFL and University of Tennessee quarterback told WGFX-FM. “I just have zero interest in being a politician.”

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On songwriting Sen. Rusty Crowe, Glen Campbell and Tanya Tucker

State Sen. Rusty Crowe is co-author of a song paying tribute to the late Glen Campbell that has been recorded by Tanya Tucker and released for sale this week, reports the Johnson City Press. The song, “Forever Loving You,” ties into legislation Crowe, R-Johnson City, successfully sponsored last year that was promoted by two of Campbell’s children.

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Haslam found what he’s looking for at Bonnaroo?

Tweet from the governor of Tennessee while visiting the Bonnaroo music festival near Manchester on Saturday — pictured with Crissy and members of the band U2.

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