Derek Hunter

He is not a wealthy man. He won’t be self-financing his campaign. He’s a plumber who lives with his wife and son in a modest home. You likely never would have heard from him if he hadn’t ventured outside one day in 2008 when a senator from Illinois who was running for president walked down his street.

All Joe did was ask then-Sen. Barack Obama a simple question about taxes, in front of the media, and his life was turned upside down. Not because of the question, but because of Obama’s answer. As soon as “spread the wealth around” left Obama’s lips, Joe was a star.

Within 24 hours, the liberal media had dug deeper into Joe’s past than it has to this day looked into President Obama’s. State employees used government computers to access confidential information about him and leak it to the press. He was attacked with a ferocity that would have destroyed a lesser man … all for simply asking a question and getting, purely by mistake, an honest answer.

But the onslaught didn’t break Joe. Because Joe isn’t a lesser man, he’s a man of character.

His son is a high school wrestler and football player as nice as he is big (and he is a big, strong kid). Joe rarely misses a match or game, regardless of what else he’s doing.

And he’s done a lot since that fateful day. He could’ve settled back into his life and out of the spotlight, but he didn’t. He’s spent the four years since then traveling the country, speaking to Tea Party groups and rallies, advocating for reform of our polluted and politicized tax code, calling for accountability in government, extolling the virtues and greatness of America and contemplating if he should run for office.

He told me it would’ve been easier for him personally to run in 2010 and that party officials were pressuring him to run then. But he didn’t because his son was too young, and he didn’t want to be away that much. The hill will be steeper this time around, but the son is ready … and so is Joe.

When I first met Joe in 2009, his knowledge of politics and policy was about what you’d expect from a man who clears clogged drains for a living. But in the years since, he has become conversant on the entire menu of issues Congress confronts. And even as his celebrity has grown, his ego hasn’t because he has character.

Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi famously promised to “drain the swamp” in Washington of corruption and cronyism. She only made matters worse. I’ll leave the obvious plumber jokes to you.

Washington needs Joe and plenty more like him. It won’t be easy for him to win – the media will go after him with a vigor not seen since the last time they went after him, and Kaptor hasn’t been on Capitol Hill for 20 years without learning the power of incumbency – but if anyone can unseat her it’s Joe. And if there’s one thing I know about Joe it’s that he’s up for the fight. And if he wins, we win.

To learn more about Joe’s campaign, visit his website by clicking here.

Derek Hunter

Derek Hunter is Washington, DC based writer, radio host and political strategist. You can also stalk his thoughts 140 characters at a time on Twitter.