This probably won’t do much to improve his chances in a congressional district drawn to pack in as many Democrats as possible. But the Cuyahoga County Republican Party has endorsed Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher of the Toledo area over opponent Steven Kraus of Huron in its congressional primary. If he wins March 6, he’ll have the opportunity to get crushed by whoever wins the Democratic primary between incumbents Marcy Kaptur and Dennis Kucinich, and political newcomer Graham Veysey in the new 9th district which stretches along the lake shore from western Cuyahoga County to Toledo.
After meeting with both candidates in the 9th District Republican Primary race, the Scanning Committee recommended to the general body on Sunday morning that the endorsement go to Wurzelbacher. The Committee then heard from both candidates and entertained speeches from members in support and opposition to the recommendation. Former Committee Chairman Jim Trakas and candidates for State Representative Patricia Gascoyne spoke on behalf of Mr. Wurzelbacher. The Committee then overwhelmingly approved the endorsement for Wurzelbacher.
Wurzelbacher first rose to “fame” when he posed as a neutral questioner at an Obama campaign event in Toledo in 2008. His subsequent use of Tea Party-style language about Obama possibly being a “socialist” and his adoption as a mascot by the McCain campaign cast doubt on that. Since then he’s been trying to cash in on that initial burst of reality TV-style fame, signing with an agent, writing a book, and even threatening to become a country singer. And it looks like a futile run for Congress might be yet another attempt to beef up his personal bottom line. This afternoon the Plain Dealer is reporting that he’s paying himself a salary from his campaign funds. — Anastasia Pantsios