TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Joe the Plumber is launching his bid for
Congress in Ohio.
Samuel "Joe" Wurzelbacher, who became a household name after
questioning Barack Obama about his economic policies during the
2008 presidential campaign, will make his announcement Tuesday
night, a county Republican official told The Associated Press.
Wurzelbacher already filed the paperwork to run as a Republican
in Ohio's 9th U.S. House district, and he has set up a website to
The seat is now held by Marcy Kaptur, the longest-serving
Democratic woman in the House. She's expected to face a primary
challenge from Rep. Dennis Kucinich after Ohio's redrawn
congressional map combined their two districts into one that
appears heavily tilted toward Democrats.
Wurzelbacher has become an icon for many anti-establishment
conservatives and has traveled the country speaking at tea party
rallies and conservative gatherings.
Republicans in northern Ohio recruited him to run and think
he'll be able to bring in enough money to make a serious challenge.
"When you're relevant and have friends in high places, you have
the ability to raise big sums of money," said Lucas County GOP
Chairman Jon Stainbrook.
He'll appeal to people who are tired of politics as usual,
Stainbrook said. "He's tapped into this sentiment that things in
Washington are screwed up," Stainbrook said
Cuyahoga County Republican Chairman Rob Frost, who had announced
he would seek the GOP nomination, dropped out last week, clearing
the way for Wurzelbacher.
Wurzelbacher, 37, went from toiling as a plumber in suburban
Toledo three years ago to media sensation in a matter of days.
After questioning candidate Obama about his economic policies,
Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain repeatedly cited "Joe the
plumber" in a presidential debate. Wurzelbacher campaigned with
McCain and his running mate, Sarah Palin, but he criticized McCain
in his book and said he did not want him as the GOP presidential
Since then, he's written a book, worked with a veterans'
organization that provides outdoor programs for wounded soldiers
and traveled the country speaking at tea party rallies and
He has shown a disdain for politicians - both Democrat and
"Being a politician is as good as being a weatherman,"
Wurzelbacher said at a tea party rally last year in Nevada. "You
don't have to be right, you don't have to do your job well, but
you'll still have a job."