Sam Wurzelbacher, a fixture of the 2008 campaign best known by the moniker “Joe the Plumber,” eked out a narrow victory for the Republican nomination in Ohio’s 9th District.
Wurzelbacher faced off against Steven Krause, a local auctioneer with considerably less name recognition than the conservative pseudo-celebrity. According to Toledo television station WTOL, Wurzelbacher came in with 51 percent of the vote to Krause’s 49 percent.
15-term Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur won the district’s Democratic nod against Congressman Dennis Kucinich after redistricting prompted a heated primary race. The newly formed district contains a substantial portion of her previous district and she is considered the frontrunner going into the race.
Wurzelbacher fell into the public eye in 2008 after asking then-candidate Barack Obama how his proposed tax policies would affect a small business he was planning on starting, saying it would net him over $250,000. After providing his explanation, Obama stated “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”
Conservative commentators picked up the interaction and Wurzelbacher was eventually tapped by the McCain campaign as an unofficial mascot of sorts.
The Wurzelbacher-Krause race wasn’t the only closely watched GOP House primary. Republican incumbent Jean Schmidt lost her primary race against Brad Wenstrup, an Army Reserves Major who billed himself as a more genuine conservative.