Joe the Plumber: Running for Congress

Joe Wurzelbacher, better known as Joe the Plumber, plans to run for Congress in 2012.

Wurzelbcher became a household name as well as a controversial figure during the 2008 presidential campaign after he was videotaped challenging a plan by candidate Barack Obama to raise taxes on small businesses.

Wurzelbacher has filed papers to run as a Republican in Ohio’s newly drawn 9th District, where Obama scored nearly two-thirds of the vote and where Democrats Dennis Kucinich and Marcy Kaptur will run in a primary, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Wurzelbacher, then an employee of a plumbing contractor, verbally chastised Obama during a campaign stop the future president met with residents in Wurzelbacher’s Holland, Ohio, neighborhood. Wurzelbacher said Obama’s tax plan would result in higher taxes for him.

Later, when Republican nominee Sen. John McCain repeatedly referred to Wurzelbacher, whom he called “Joe the Plumber,” in his third and final debate against Obama, Wurzelbacher became a symbol for Republicans of what would happen to the middle class under an Obama Administration. It made Wurzelbacher an instant, if unwitting, celebrity.

After the debate, Wurzelbacher was barraged with media inquiries. He did not declare his vote for either candidate after the debate, but told Fox News that he questioned Obama’s loyalty to the United States and that he was “really scared” of an Obama presidency.

But the fame also led to Harsh scrutiny of Wurzelbacher. He did not have a plumber’s license and had a judgment lien against him for non-payment of $1,182 in Ohio state income taxes.