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John Seewer the Associated Press
Published: 25 October 2011

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) -- Joe the Plumber is launching his bid for Congress in Ohio.

A county Republican official tells The Associated Press that the man who became a household name during the 2008 presidential race will make his announcement Tuesday night.

Samuel "Joe" Wurzelbacher already filed the paperwork to run as a Republican in Ohio's 9th U.S. House district. He also set up a website to raise money.

Lucas County GOP Chairman Jon Stainbrook says Wurzelbacher will appeal to people who are tired of politics as usual in Washington.

Wurzelbacher rose from obscurity in 2008 after questioning candidate Barack Obama about his economic policies.

He has become an icon for many anti-establishment conservatives and has traveled the country speaking at tea party rallies and conservative gatherings.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

Joe the Plumber, who became a household name after questioning Barack Obama about his economic policies during the 2008 presidential campaign, will announce Tuesday whether he plans to run for Congress in Ohio.

Samuel "Joe" Wurzelbacher's statement of candidacy filed with the Federal Election Commission earlier this month says he plans to run as a Republican in Ohio's 9th U.S. House district.

The seat is now held by Marcy Kaptur, the longest serving Democratic woman in the House. She's expected to face a primary challenge from Rep. Dennis Kucinich after Ohio's redrawn congressional map combined their two districts into one that appears to heavily tilted toward Democrats.

Cuyahoga County Republican Chairman Rob Frost who had announced he would seek the GOP nomination dropped out last week, clearing the way for Wurzelbacher who recently launched the website http://www.joeforcongress2012.com .

Wurzelbacher, 37, is now an icon for many anti-establishment conservatives and has built a national following that should help him raise money if he runs.

He's also written a book, worked with a veterans' organization that provides outdoor programs for wounded soldiers and traveled the country speaking at tea party rallies and conservative gatherings.

He's shown a disdain for politicians - both Democrat and Republican.

"Being a politician is as good as being a weatherman," Wurzelbacher said at a tea party rally last year in Nevada. "You don't have to be right, you don't have to do your job well, but you'll still have a job."

Wurzelbacher went from toiling as a plumber in suburban Toledo three years ago to media sensation in a matter of days.

After questioning then-candidate Obama about his economic policies, Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain repeatedly cited "Joe the plumber" in a presidential debate. Wurzelbacher campaigned with McCain and his running mate, Sarah Palin, but he criticized McCain in his book and said he did not want him as the GOP presidential nominee.

Wurzelbacher also became a target for Democrats.

Ohio's former human services director and others were accused of misusing state computers to illegally access his personal information. A judge dismissed a lawsuit Wurzelbacher filed that said his rights were violated.

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