Remember Joe Wurzelbacher, the Ohio plumber who questioned then-presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008 about taxes, prompting him to admit he wanted to “spread the wealth”? Republican Party sources say the man who gained instant notoriety as “Joe the Plumber” is mulling a run for Congress.
According to the Toledo Blade, Wurzelbacher has been heavily courted by party officials to challenge Democratic Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur in 2012.
Jon Stainbrook, chairman of the Lucas County Republican Party, told the Blade there is “high-level interest in the national Republican Party” in a Wurzelbacher bid.
“We are encouraging Joe to run,” Stainbrook said. “He hasn’t made any official decision yet.”
While Wurzelbacher’s already-established national profile would be a boon for fundraising, it would have to be weighed against his lack of political experience, a spokesman for the Ohio Republican Party said.
However, one GOP source placed the likelihood of his candidacy at “90 percent.”
For Wurzelbacher’s part, he would not confirm or deny a congressional run.
“I think it’s a very interesting idea,” Wurzelbacher told the Blade. “That’s as much as I can say.”
A spokesman for Kaptur told the Blade a challenge from Wurzelbacher is “definitely something we would take seriously.”
Kaptur won nearly 60 percent of the vote in 2010, but redistricting next year could make her seat vulnerable.
Since the 2008 election, Wurzelbacher wrote a book called “Joe the Plumber: Fighting for the American Dream,” participated in national speaking tours and has been involved in “Alaska’s Healing Hearts,” a veteran’s organization that provides outdoor activities for wounded soldiers.