Kucinich quits White House race
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.
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
His decision comes a month after the death of his
youngest brother, Perry Kucinich.
Kucinich said he will not endorse another Democrat in
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
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
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.