"Joe the Plumber" announces run for Congress

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 25, 2011 11:03 PM
"Joe the Plumber" announces run for Congress

(Reuters) - Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, the Ohio man who as "Joe the Plumber" famously pressed then-presidential candidate Barack Obama on tax policy in 2008, said on Tuesday he was running for Congress.

Wurzelbacher said he would run as a Republican candidate for the House of Representatives in Ohio's 9th Congressional District, which includes the city of Toledo.

"If I'm coming off as angry, it's because I am," he said in the video of his official announcement posted on the website of FoxToledo.com.

"I just can't stand it when people do bad work. And we've been voting, the last 40 or 50 years, (for) bad people to do bad things to us. Why have we been doing it? Because we don't take our civic responsibility seriously enough," he said.

The district is currently represented by Democratic Representative Marcy Kaptur, first elected to the House of Representatives in 1982. Due to redistricting, she will face longtime Democratic lawmaker Dennis Kucinich in a primary.

In 2008, Wurzelbacher asked a few questions of Obama as the candidate campaigned door-to-door in an Ohio neighborhood, making him a focus of media reports.

The exchange was amplified in a debate shortly before the November 2008 election when Republican nominee John McCain cited Wurzelbacher as someone who would be hurt by Obama's tax plans and both candidates went on to refer to him more than two dozen times in the debate.

Wurzelbacher quickly became a political celebrity, particularly among Republicans who saw him as a working class everyman. But his reputation suffered when it was revealed the tradesman was not in fact a licensed plumber.

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston)