Since 1997 Dennis Kucinich represented his Ohio district in the House of Representatives in Washington, DC. After the release of the 2010 census Ohio needed to redraw the state’s districts, reducing the number of representatives by two. As a result of that downsizing, and with Republicans tasked with the job of reapportioning the districts, Kucinich’s district was dismantled. The former mayor of Cleveland decided to run in this past March’s primary against fellow Representative Marcy Kaptur, but lost.
The opportunity to run for a seat in Congress as a representative from Washington State presented itself since there are three vacant seats up for grabs there. Kucinich developed a following in Washington during his two bids for President in 2004 and 2008. He returned to Washington in 2010 several times, assessing the support he has there, when he realized his district was going to be drawn off the map.
However, Kucinich announced Wednesday on his website his decision not to run in Washington:
“Because of my love of public service, I have given a great deal of time and much thought to the advice and encouragement I have received from so many people of good will in Washington State. I certainly want to continue to be of service to our country and to the working men and women who have built it,” Kucinich wrote. “After careful consideration and discussions with Elizabeth and my closest friends, I have decided that, at this time, I can best serve from outside the Congress.”
“I will complete my service in the U.S. House on January 2, 2013, with the same passion and devotion to duty with which I began it on January 3, 1997. And when I do, I shall think of you and all those who have given me encouragement to continue to be of service, and I will smile, knowing that we shall meet again in our celebration of the potential of citizen activists to change the world.”
Not everyone from Washington State felt comfortable with the possibility of Kucinich seeking election there. Last month the Washington State Democratic Party Chairman Dwight Pelz said that he was “horrified” at the thought that Kucinich might run for office from there, saying,
“Dennis Kucinich has to decide what his legacy is going to be. Will he be remembered as a principled member of Congress or the narcissist who lost two congressional races in two states the same year?”