Joe the Plumber plans big news on bid for Congress

October 25, 2011 - 12:27 PM
Joe The Plumber Congress

FILE - In an Oct. 16, 2008 file photo, Joe Wurzelbacher, also known as

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — It looks like Joe the Plumber is about to become Joe the Candidate.

The Ohio man who man who became a household name after questioning Barack Obama about his economic policies during the 2008 presidential campaign will announce Tuesday whether he plans to run for Congress in Ohio.

Samuel "Joe" Wurzelbacher already has filed the paperwork to run for Congress and has set up a campaign website to raise money.

Wurzelbacher's statement of candidacy filed with the Federal Election Commission earlier this month says he plans to run as a Republican in Ohio's 9th U.S. House district.

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 to heavily tilted toward Democrats.

Cuyahoga County Republican Chairman Rob Frost who had announced he would seek the GOP nomination dropped out last week, clearing the way for Wurzelbacher who recently launched the website www.joeforcongress2012.com.

Wurzelbacher, 37, is now an icon for many anti-establishment conservatives and has built a national following that should help him raise money if he runs.

He's also written a book, worked with a veterans' organization that provides outdoor programs for wounded soldiers and traveled the country speaking at tea part rallies and conservative gatherings.

He's shown a disdain for politicians — both Democrat and Republican.

"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."

Wurzelbacher went from toiling as a plumber in suburban Toledo three years ago to media sensation in a matter of days.

After questioning then-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 nominee.

Wurzelbacher also became a target for Democrats.

Ohio's former human services director and others were accused of misusing state computers to illegally access his personal information. A judge dismissed a lawsuit Wurzelbacher filed that said his rights were violated.