Joe the Plumber is now "Joe the Candidate."
Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, dubbed "Joe the Plumber" after asking President Obama a question about tax policy during the 2008 campaign, has thrown his wrench into the ring for Congress.
Wurzelbacher filed paperwork to run as a Republican in Ohio's newly-crafted Ninth Congressional district in the northern part of the state. If Wurzelbacher secures the GOP nomination, it's likely he'd face one of two veteran Congressional Democrats in the general election: either Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) or Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH). Ohio's redrawn Congressional map stretches the Ninth District across the Lake Erie shoreline from Cleveland to Toledo. It's one of the most-Democratic districts in the state.
Wurzelbacher has to emerge from the GOP primary first. Two Republicans have already filed: Cuyahoga County GOP Chairman Rob Frost and businessman Tom Guarente.
Various groups courted Wurzelbacher to run for office a few years ago, drafting a website for him to potentially challenge Kaptur in 2010 or to seek the Senate seat now held by Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH).
Despite his trade-oriented alias, Wurzelbacher is not a licensed plumber but has done plumbing work. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) seized on Wurzelbacher's Q and A with then-candidate Obama, mentioning it multiple times during a presidential debate at Hofstra University. The day after the debate, Wurzelbacher declined to back either candidate in the 2008 election. However, Wurzelbacher did appear on stage with McCain during three campaign events in northern Ohio just before the election.