AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Former presidential candidate Herman Cain, right, joined Republican Samuel Wurzelbacher, better known as 'Joe the Plumber,' on the campaign trail, in Rocky River, Ohio. Wurzelbacher now faces US Rep. Marcy Kaptur in the Nov. general election for the 9th Congressional District. (

'Joe the Plumber' wins Ohio primary, faces tough race in November

Joe the Plumber, aka Samuel Wurzelbacher, won his Congressional district in the GOP primary in Ohio. Wurzelbacher will now face US Rep. Marcy Kaptur in November.

An Ohio plumber thrust into national politics during the 2008 presidential campaign has won the Republican nomination in his home state as he makes a bid for Congress.

Samuel Wurzelbacher gained the nickname "Joe the Plumber" for expressing working-class concerns about taxes to then-candidate Barack Obama during a stop to the region.

The Toledo-area plumber defeated Steve Kraus, a Sandusky real estate agent, early Wednesday to grab the GOP nomination in Ohio's 9th Congressional District.

IN PICTURES: Joe the Plumber returns

Wurzelbacher faces an uphill climb in the fall against veteran US Rep. Marcy Kaptur, who won the Democratic primary. The newly drawn district snaking along the Lake Erie shoreline from Toledo to Cleveland tilts toward Democrats.

Kaptur defeated longtime Washington colleague Dennis Kucinich Tuesday in a bruising Ohio showdown made necessary by the newly drawn congressional map.

Kaptur is in her 15th term representing the Toledo area. She ran a campaign that emphasized her record of bringing federal money and projects back to the state. In a concession speech just past midnight, a bitter Kucinich described Kaptur's campaign as "lacking in integrity, filled with false truths."

"I hope this is not a representation of how she'll run the district," he said.

Kaptur did not respond to Kucinich's criticism, but said in a statement that she will need his supporters, and those of another primary contender, Graham Veysey, in the general election.

Kucinich is an eight-term congressman and two-time presidential candidate from Cleveland known for his quirky style and politically combative flair. Last summer, as Ohio's redistricting process was under way, he had flirted with running for an open House seat in Washington state.

Districts are redrawn every 10 years to reflect population changes in the new census. Ohio's lagging population growth caused the loss of two of its 18 congressional seats.

Whichever party controls a state legislature typically sets redistricting so that incumbents in the majority party are protected and minority party seats are put at risk.

Ohio Republicans drew just four of 16 districts that lean Democratic in a state that is evenly divided between the two parties. The decision to snake a district along the Lake Erie shoreline linking the Democratic strongholds of Cleveland and Toledo resulted in the state's lone intraparty contest between sitting House members.

Kucinich and Kaptur are both liberal Democrats who have been friends for years, but their campaign took a negative turn.

On the Republican side, fourth-term U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt conceded the Republican primary in her Cincinnati-area district to Iraq war veteran and Army combat surgeon Brad Wenstrup

Democrat William Smith was leading the Democratic primary to oppose Wenstrup in the southern Ohio district.


Associated Press photographer Amy Sancetta in Cleveland contributed to this report.

IN PICTURES: Joe the Plumber returns

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to 'Joe the Plumber' wins Ohio primary, faces tough race in November
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today