'Joe the Plumber' may run for Congress. Could he win?

'Joe the Plumber,' who became an accidental stand-in for the middle class in the 2008 presidential campaign has filed papers to (possibly) run for a House seat in northern Ohio.

Al Goldis/AP/File)
In this file photo, Samuel "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher, who made news during the last presidential campaign when he asked Barack Obama about taxes, speaks during a tax day tea party protest. Mr. Wurzelbacher has filed papers to (possibly) run for a House seat in northern Ohio.

Joe the Plumber” wants to be “Joe the Congressman,” apparently. Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, who became an accidental stand-in for the middle class in the 2008 presidential campaign after an encounter with candidate Barack Obama, has filed papers to (possibly) run for a House seat in northern Ohio.

Of course, he doesn’t actually live in the congressional district in question, at least not now. And a political race might reawaken some old controversies, such as whether Mr. Wurzelbacher was ever technically a plumber at all. But, hey, if you don’t throw your monkey wrench into the ring, you’ll never know glory, right? Or something like that.

Wurzelbacher rose out of ordinary-guy obscurity three years ago tomorrow, on October 12, 2008. Obama was touring Wurzelbacher’s working class neighborhood in Holland, Ohio, chatting up neighbors, when Wurzelbacher confronted the candidate about the impact of his proposed tax policies on small businessmen.

“I’m getting ready to buy a company that’s making $250,000, $280,000 a year. Your new tax plan’s going to tax me more isn’t it?” said Wurzelbacher, who described himself as a plumber.

Overnight “Joe the Plumber” became a conservative hero. He made appearances on everything from the “CBS Evening News” to Fox News and eventually campaigned with GOP candidate John McCain in Ohio.

However, the lamestream media quickly discovered that “Joe the Plumber” was really “Joe the Unlicensed Plumber.” Wurzelbacher explained that he’d thought it was OK to work under the license of his boss. Nor was Wurzelbacher really about to buy a plumbing business, as he’d implied to Obama. He’d discussed it once, years ago, when interviewing for his job.

Joe wrote a quickie book published in 2008, “Joe the Plumber: Fighting for the American Dream”, in which he criticized candidate McCain, among other things. Following the election he faded into semi-obscurity, among other things working as an occasional motivational speaker and appearing at tea party events.

Now he’s filed to run as a Republican in northern Ohio’s ninth congressional district. That doesn’t mean he’s running for sure. He’ll decide that by later this month, according to his consultant Roman Schroeder.

Conservative activists have been recruiting Wurzelbacher for the effort. Redistricting has thrown two Democratic incumbents, Dennis Kucinich and Marcia Kaptur, against each other for this seat. Perhaps Wurzelbacher could sneak out a win if disillusioned supporters of whichever Democrat does not make the general election just stay home on election day.

But would Wurzelbacher have to move first? The Toledo Blade reports today that he actually lives in Ohio’s 5th District, which has a Republican incumbent.

Wurzelbacher himself says that Ohio state law does not require that congressional candidates live in the district they represent.

“I live in Ohio and that is what it comes down to. Legally, as long as you live in the state one year and are a registered voter, you can run anywhere you want,” Wurzelbacher told the Blade.

Wurzelbacher has already set up a “Joe for Congress” website which solicits donations for his campaign.

On his Facebook page, Wurzelbacher touts GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain’s “9-9-9” tax plan, criticizes Obama’s health care law, and says Hank Williams Jr. should not have had his song yanked as the “Monday Night Football” theme after Williams compared Obama to Hitler, among other things.

“How ‘bout we start getting rid of the things that don’t work (I don’t mean congress). Dept. of Educ., Energy, Interior, etc. ... The states need to step up and shoulder those responsibilities or dare I say it, the 'Private Market'," writes Joe the Possible Candidate.

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