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WWE Hall of Famer Jesse Ventura 'shocked the world' when he became Governor of Minnesota in 1999

5 WWE Superstars that ran for political office 

If WWE and politics make strange bedfellows, it must be a pretty big bed.

Over the years, several WWE Superstars have traded the squared circle for the ballot box, hoping to put a stranglehold on social, economic and environmental issues. They wanted their voices to be heard from behind a lectern and not necessarily in 'promo form'.

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In essence, professional wrestlers are citizens just like the rest of us. Why shouldn't they have a voice in what happens in America, too?

While it can sometimes be an uphill battle to be taken seriously when you've been engaged in a sport full of silliness, some incredibly special individuals have tried to break through in the world of government. They wanted to make a difference outside of suplexes and slams.

Win or lose, here are five WWE Superstars who sought political office.

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#5 - Rick Steiner

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Looking to Steiner-ize local politics, the Dogfaced Gremlin served as a member of the Board for the Cherokee County (Georgia) School District.

He was originally unable to run on the Republican ticket, as he used his stage name as opposed to his birthname of Rechsteiner on the registration paperwork. But that wasn't going to stop the multi-time World Tag Team Champion.

Thank you school board member, Rick Steiner, for joining the Creek for Read Across America day!

Undaunted and still determined to make a change, Rick Steiner ran unopposed as a write-in candidate and (of course) won. We haven't heard of anyone receiving a massive clothesline or a flying bulldog at any school board meetings thus far.

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But as you very well know, if any news breaks? Sportskeeda will bring it to you as information becomes available.


#4 - Former WWE World Champion Bob Backlund

Bob Backlund had two very distinct reigns as WWE Champion. The first came in the late 70's when he stunned Superstar Billy Graham to capture the crown. He held the top spot in the company into the mid-80s. That's when Hulkamania and the Rock 'n' Wrestling Connection took over the world of grappling and turned it into sports entertainment.

Years later, Backlund returned to the promotion, embraced their new format and became a character himself. 'Crazy Bob Backlund' defeated Bret Hart in one of the most memorable matches of the 90s.

With a proven record as a champion and a winner, politics seemed like the next stop for the man once referred to as 'the Howdy Doody of Pro Wrestling.'

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This, of course, doesn't count his kayfabe 1996 United States Presidential bid, which was part of his character and a WWE storyline.

Mr. Bob Backlund for President!

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When it was time to do things for real, Mr. Bob Backlund ran for Congress in Connecticut as a Republican. He received just 30% of the vote in a two-person race.

The only thing that was missing was Arnold Skaaland being there to throw in the towel for him.


#3 - Jerry Lawler

For generations now, Jerry Lawler has been known as the King of Memphis. However, when that crown wasn't enough for him, he decided to become the mayor instead.

jerry lawler in running for mayor of memphis in 1999 suggested "setting up rings for gangs to fight it out with rules" to cut down on crime
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Lawler ran for the mayorship of Memphis in 1999. Unfortunately for The KIng, he finished nowhere near the top, capturing only 11 percent of the vote.

He had a few scrapes and scandals in his home city prior to him seeking office. Some of those old stories and whispers arose during his campaign, which likely hurt him at the ballot box. No word yet on if he will ever seek office in the Memphis area again, but don't rule it out. He's still immensely popular in the city.


#2 - Kane

Glenn Jacobs is the mayor of Knox County, Tennessee today because he showed the same fire and desire that his character Kane did.

Few gave WWE's monster of a man any chance of winning, as he was viewed as a political outsider. That didn't affect the vote of the Tennesseans, and it may have really worked to his advantage after all. The folks around Knoxville got behind Jacobs' conservative message. He's a perfect fit for the area he represents, because his values are very much in tune with the people of that region.

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Kane — yes, THAT Kane — has been elected mayor of Knox County, per @wbir

Today, Kane has traded in his red bodysuit for a sportscoat and tie.

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While there has never been any confirmation as to whether he's ever challenged a political foe to an inferno match, we can never rule it out. After all, politics is a tough game. If you're not careful... you might get burned.


#1 - Jesse Ventura

The Body announced to his new constituents that they "shocked the world" when he declared victory in the 1998 Minnesota Governor's Race.

The WWE Hall of Famer was always known for being outspoken as a wrestler, commentator and actor. But politics was a whole new ballgame, and very few major celebrities at the time had sought office. (Aside from California, where actors are involved in everything.)

As the Mayor of Brooklyn Park, MN, Ventura was already involved in local civic matters. But his run for governor was not only successful, it was historic. It opened the door for people from other genres to really make a splash in politics.

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In many ways, Ventura can be viewed - for better or worse, depending on your opinion - as a precursor to the Donald Trump phenomenon. Something about seeing a star cross over into that world has captured the country's imagination.

Ventura had a bit of a controversial reign as Minnesota Governor and left office after serving only one term. He will still go down in the history books. Real history books... not just the PWI Yearbook.

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Edited by
Jacob Terrell
 
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