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Kucinich quits White House race

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080124/ap_on_el_pr/kucinich_withdraws Democrat Kucinich quits White House race By JOE MILICIA, Associated Press Writer 20 minutes
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 24, 2008
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      http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080124/ap_on_el_pr/kucinich_withdraws

      Democrat Kucinich quits White House race

      By JOE MILICIA, Associated Press Writer 20 minutes ago

      CLEVELAND - Democrat Dennis Kucinich is abandoning his
      second, long-shot bid for the White House as he faces
      a tough fight to hold onto his other job — U.S.
      congressman.

      In an interview with Cleveland's Plain Dealer, the
      six-term House member said he was quitting the race
      and would make a formal announcement on Friday.

      "I will be announcing that I'm transitioning out of
      the presidential campaign," Kucinich said. "I'm making
      that announcement tomorrow about a new direction."

      Kucinich has received little support in his
      presidential bid; he got 1 percent of the vote in the
      New Hampshire primary and was shut out in the Iowa
      caucuses. He did have a devoted following.

      Kucinich, 61, is facing four challengers in the
      Democratic congressional primary March 4, and earlier
      this week he made an urgent appeal on his Web site for
      funds for his re-election. Rival Joe Cimperman has
      been critical of Kucinich for focusing too much time
      outside of his district while campaigning for
      president.

      His decision comes a month after the death of his
      youngest brother, Perry Kucinich.

      Kucinich said he will not endorse another Democrat in
      the primary.

      Kucinich brought the same sense of idealism to his
      second run for president as he did in his first bid.
      He said he was entering the race again because the
      Democratic Party wasn't pushing hard enough to end the
      Iraq war.

      Once dubbed the "boy mayor" of Cleveland, he made an
      unpopular decision to refuse to sell a publicly owned
      utility that pushed the city into default and drove
      him from office.

      After the city's financial troubles, the mayor faced
      death threats, and was forced to wear a bulletproof
      vest when he threw out the first ball at a Cleveland
      Indians game. He barely survived a recall vote.

      But he lost his bid for re-election as mayor of
      Cleveland in 1978 to Republican George Voinovich, who
      went on to become governor and then U.S. senator. His
      life and his political career were derailed. Kucinich
      spent more than a decade trying to get back into
      politics — traveling around the country and then
      working as a teacher, consultant and television news
      reporter.

      In 1994, Kucinich was elected state senator and he
      then won a seat in Congress in 1996. His once
      unpopular stand against the sale of the municipal
      electric system was praised as courageous. In 1998,
      the Cleveland City Council issued him a commendation
      for having the foresight to refuse to sell it.

      During his time in Congress, Kucinich has been one of
      the most outspoken liberals, opposing international
      trade agreements like the North America Free Trade
      Agreement and marching with protesters in Seattle
      during a meeting of the World Trade Organization.

      As a presidential candidate, he has proposed a
      Department of Peace, backed universal health care and
      supported gay marriage. He also pushed for impeachment
      of Vice President Dick Cheney.

      At a debate last October, Kucinich delivered one of
      the night's lighter moments when he confirmed seeing
      an unidentified flying object at the Washington state
      home of actress Shirley MacLaine. With a smile, he
      said he would open a campaign office in Roswell, N.M.,
      home to many alleged UFO sightings.

      Kucinich married British citizen Elizabeth Harper, in
      2005, ensuring his 2008 campaign would have one
      dramatic difference from his first campaign. Kucinich
      told New Hampshire audiences during the 2004 race that
      he was seeking a mate. Women then vied for a date with
      him during a contest arranged by a New Hampshire
      political Web site, but nothing romantic evolved from
      Kucinich's breakfast with the winner.
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