'Joe the Plumber' comes to Utah

Nov 19 2009 - 11:29pm

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(BETH SCHLANKER/Standard-Examiner) Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, 'Joe the Plumber,' speaks during a campaign fundraiser for Cherilyn Eagar, who is challenging Sen. Bob Bennett for his U.S. Senate seat, at a luncheon at Bella's Restaurant in Farr West on Thursday.
(BETH SCHLANKER/Standard-Examiner) Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, 'Joe the Plumber,' speaks during a campaign fundraiser for Cherilyn Eagar, who is challenging Sen. Bob Bennett for his U.S. Senate seat, at a luncheon at Bella's Restaurant in Farr West on Thursday.

WOODS CROSS -- When the man known as "Joe the Plumber" appeared with Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Cherilyn Eagar at a breakfast here Thursday, the two couldn't have looked more different.

Samuel "Joe" Wurzelbacher of Holland, Ohio, wore a plaid work shirt, a tan denim jacket and work boots as he sat backwards on his chair facing the small group that had paid $20 each for breakfast and to come hear him.

Eagar sat with her legs crossed just so, wearing a polished business suit and high heels.

While their appearance was very different, the two said their views were the same.

"She's honest," Wurzelbacher said. "That's pretty much what it comes down to."

The two met at the Take Back America conference in St. Louis two months ago and developed an instant connection, they said.

Wurzelbacher came to Utah this week for a whirlwind campaign blast throughout much of rural Utah and then to the Wasatch Front to campaign for Eagar.

He said she's only the second candidate he's ever endorsed since his questioning President Obama's statements during the 2008 election campaign made him a national public figure.

"She's going to be a public servant," Wurzelbacher said about Eagar. "Pretty much, the mainstream politicians have forgotten that."

Eagar said, if elected, she would represent her constituents and not lobbyists or big-money campaign contributors and that she expected to be held accountable for her actions.

Wurzelbacher and Eagar said they were sending a message of five principles for change while traveling throughout the state.

Those principles are physical restraint, limited government, free-market society, energy independence and a strong national defense.

Eagar said she includes in national defense defending borders and protecting families, including marriage between a man and a woman.

Eagar said Wurzelbacher's popularity was doing exactly the job she had hoped it would in raising awareness for her campaign.

"I'm new running for public office," she said. "It's great to get a name out there. ... People come to hear Joe speak."

Wurzelbacher nodded in agreement Thursday as Eagar outlined the three points she's working to make in her campaign.

Eagar takes issue with the voting record of the current U.S. Sen. Bob Bennett, saying that his voting record changes each time he's about to run for re-election.

She called such actions irresponsible.

"I equate freedom to one word and that's responsibility," Wurzelbacher said.

He said responsibility was just one idea he liked to speak about.

He also frequently discusses accountability, education and the Constitution.

"As Republicans, there are two things we have to do," he said to those at the breakfast. "We have to get the posers out of there and take back the country."

Eagar and Wurzelbacher continued their tour Thursday with a fundraising stops at Bella's Restaurant in Farr West and Beehive Grille in Logan.

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