CLEVELAND-Joe the Plumber wants to be Joe the Congressman.
On Wednesday, Samuel "Joe" Wurzelbacher was at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections to file paperwork to run as a Republican for Ohio's 9th Congressional District. Wurzelbacher rose to fame after a 2008 run-in with then-candidate Barack Obama in Wurzelbacher's neighborhood.
"I wanna work for everyone in the 9th District," said Wurzelbacher. "I don't care what your political persuasion is, but ultimately what it comes down to is jobs. Ohio is a great place to live, especially when you have a job."
Ohio's new 9th Congressional District was recently proposed by the state legislature and it will stretch from Toledo to Cleveland, along Lake Erie. Two Democrat strongholds are being merged, which will likely mean a primary face-off between Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur and Congressman Dennis Kucinich, from Ohio's current 10th Congressional District. The winner of the democratic primary will possibly face Wurzelbacher.
"Ultimately, what I'm encountering is most people are just tired of the status quo, they're tired of the R's and D's representing the American people and I've been out there walking - knocked on probably 800 doors - and getting a really good response," said Wurzelbacher. He believes he can win, citing the plunging approval ratings for many elected officials.
"It's awful," said Pat Murphy from Concord. "Look at the ratings for Congress, what is it, 19%? It's probably gonna get worse because the negative campaign ads are gonna start and it's going to turn people off even more. I'm going to vote against every incumbent."
"You know, it's a free country and I think that's how government is started, grass roots, and he's a grass roots person, I wish him well," said Audrey Wiggins from Mayfield Heights.
Congressman Kucinich had no comment on Wurzelbacher's run, but Congresswoman Kaptur's campaign had the following statement: "Congresswoman Kaptur looks forward to a spirited election season next year. Joe's entry into the Republican Primary as the standard bearer for its Tea Party wing, is something for his own Party to be concerned about. Meanwhile, Congresswoman Kaptur will continue her efforts toward rebuilding Northern Ohio's economy and getting people back to work."
As for his thoughts on the president he once debated on his front lawn, Joe is at a loss for words. "Got nothin' there brother, got nothin' there. He's playing politics just every other politician up there."
Wurzelbacher currently resides west of Toledo.