‘Joe the Plumber' becomes part of GOP establishment


No longer the political outsider, Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher is now an elected official, pending certification by the Lucas County Board of Elections.

Mr. Wurzelbacher ran in the Republican Party Central Committee election. He defeated Laura Marsh 38-23, according to yesterday's unofficial tally.

Members of the central committee meet several times a year to approve Republican Party policies and elect a chairman, and are expected to be foot soldiers for Republican candidates, such as by posting signs and making phone calls.

Reached last night, Mr. Wurzelbacher had nothing to say. “Listen brother, it's been a long day. You have yourself a nice night, OK?” .

Ms. Marsh said she knew Mr. Wurzelbacher's parents but didn't know their famous son. She said she has been on the central committee before.

“I just want to help our country that's why I ran for this little office,” she said.

“But I really don't want any stories or anything about me, because I'm just me and I try to do what I think is right and what's good for people. I didn't even know he was running against me. He's a very fine fellow.”

The central committee has 397 members, one for each county precinct.

The little-known committee has taken on big importance because two factions are competing for control — that of Jon Stainbrook, the current Lucas County Republican chairman, and Toledo lawyer Jeff Simpson, who is seeking the post.

Mr. Wurzelbacher's petition was turned in by Paul Hoag, an ally of Mr. Simpson. Ms. Marsh's petition was turned in by the Stainbrook organization.

Mr. Wurzelbacher became a conservative icon after an impromptu debate with Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama two years ago.

Blade staff writer JC Reindl contributed to this report.