He rose to unlikely fame during the 2008 presidential election, becoming the voice of the American everyman.
And now Joe the Plumber has won the Republican nomination for Ohio’s largely Democrat 9th Congressional District, beating relative unknown real estate agent Steve Kraus.
Joe, real name Samuel Wurzelbacher, will face veteran Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur after she beat fellow liberal incumbent Dennis Kucinich to win her party’s nomination Tuesday night. The election requiring either Kaptur or Kucinich to surrender a seat was forced by redistricting.
Wurzelbacher, 38, who gained the “plumber” moniker for accosting then-candidate Barack Obama over taxes on a campaign stop four years ago, came into the contest with a clear advantage and even won the endorsement of former hopeful Herman Cain.
Only last week, Wurzelbacher told Ohioans he would be running against either Kaptur or Kucinich, having been assured of victory in the primary, the Plain Dealer of Cleveland reported.
Speaking to the Dayton Daily News last year, Wurzelbacher said he wasn’t going to run on fame alone.
“I’ve been Joe the Plumber for three years now,” he said. “I haven’t made millions of dollars off it.”
Instead he has stuck to traditional conservative themes of dismantling big government and bringing his “outsider” approach to Washington politics.
“I don’t know many people that really, truly want to drive a Leaf,” he recently told Fox News Toledo, referring to Nissan’s plug-in electric car. “I drive a big Dodge four-by-four truck and I love leaving a carbon footprint wherever I go.”