By Terelle Jerricks, Managing Editor
Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich announced May 16 that he is not running for Congress in Washington state, where activists had urged him to launch a campaign. Kucinich signaled the end of his 16-year congressional career in an emailed statement to supporters:
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.
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. My commitments to peace, to workers’ rights and to social and economic justice are constant and are not dependent upon holding an office.
The outspoken lawmaker was the latest casualty of redistricting, finding himself pitted against a fellow Democrat, Rep. Marcy Kaptur, more than a year ago. He be began openly looking to Washington state for a possible congressional run, saying voters there were asking him to relocate.
But after losing to Kaptur in his home state primary in March, Kucinich said he decided that he will not pursue a congressional bid there or anywhere else.
Kucinich was one of the first to oppose the bombing Iraq, calling it “an illegal war” and organized the Progressive Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives to vote against it.
In 2003, Kucinich helped introduce and is one of 93 cosponsors (as of Feb. 22, 2010) in the House of Representatives the National Health Care Act or HR 676 proposed by Rep.John Conyers in 2003, which provides for a universal single-payer public health-insurance plan.
In 2008, months before George W. Bush left office, Kucinich introduced and shepherded a motion to send an article of impeachment to the Judiciary Committee for a hearing at a time when most House Democrats had decided not to pursue it.
Kucinich voted against the. U.S. Patriot Act, and the Military Commissions Act of 2006. He was also one of six who voted against the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Act.