Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, announced Wednesday he has decided against moving across the country and running for Congress in Washington state, where activists had urged him to launch a campaign.
In a statement reported by ABC News, Kucinich signaled the end of his 16-year congressional career:
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.
When the outspoken anti-war lawmaker and former Cleveland mayor learned more than a year ago that the Republican Ohio Legislature would redistrict him into a race against fellow Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Toledo, Kucinich began openly eyeing a Washington state U.S. House bid, saying voters there were asking him to relocate.
But after losing to Kaptur in his home state primary in March, Kucinich now confirms that he will not pursue a congressional bid there or anywhere else.
In Washington, which is getting a new House seat, there was much criticism of his flirtation with a possible run.
He was publicly lambasted there as a carpetbagger and openly criticized by state Democratic officials.
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? Democratic State Chairman Dwight Pelz told the Seattle Times last month.
Kucinich has been a visitor to Washington state for years, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. He claimed once to have seen a UFO while staying with friends at Graham. In the last 15 months, he has found venues ranging from the Seattle Hempfest to the state Democrats' annual crab feed. Elizabeth Kucinich has communed with fellow New Agers on Bainbridge Island.
Some areas with high populations of peace activists, notably Bellingham and Olympia, gave Kucinich support during his 2004 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.