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Published: Saturday, 12/31/2011 - Updated: 3 years ago

'Joe the Plumber' files for Congress


Samuel "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher has made it official: He's a candidate for Congress.

The Springfield Township resident filed nominating petitions Friday at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections for Ohio's 9th Congressional District seat, now held by U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo).

Mr. Wurzelbacher, 39, an endorsed Republican, said he filed at about 1:30 p.m. on Friday -- the deadline day. He said he has begun campaigning in earnest, going door to door in Point Place and West Toledo.

"People need to find out who I am and what I stand for," he said. "I think I'm an option the Democrats haven't had in a long, long time. I'm a working guy living paycheck to paycheck."

Mr. Wurzelbacher will face Steve Kraus of Huron in Erie County in the March primary. Mr. Kraus said he filed shortly before noon on Friday for the GOP race. 

In November, the GOP winner will face Miss Kaptur or U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D., Cleveland), who will square off in a primary race for the newly redrawn 9th District. Election law requires that candidates file in the district's most populous county, which is Cuyahoga.

Mr. Wurzelbacher picked up his nickname and national recognition during the 2008 presidential campaign when he engaged then-candidate Barack Obama in an impromptu front-yard debate.

He said he would not level any personal attacks at Miss Kaptur or Mr. Kucinich during his campaign, and that if elected he would not serve more than six years.

"I don't agree with the idea of career politicians," he said. "Marcy, she's a nice lady. I've met her many times, and she's very personable. But she's had almost 30 years to bring this area around, and it's not working. The same is true of Kucinich."

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