ABC News’ Jennifer Duck Reports: Presidential dark horse Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, will announce at a news conference tomorrow in Cleveland that he is dropping out of the presidential race, ABC News has confirmed.
Since announcing his intention to seek the White House, Kucinich has trailed badly behind his Democratic rivals, raised little money, and was recently shut out of Democratic debates because of his long shot status.
Kucinich is expected to announce that he is foregoing his presidential aspirations to focus on his congressional seat, that may be in jeopardy.
"I want to continue to serve in Congress," Kucinich said, reports his hometown Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper which first reported Kucinich’s plans to drop out.
Kucinich, who made an unsuccessful bid for the White House in 2004, has run on his longtime opposition to the war in Iraq, and advocated the creation of a federal "Department of Peace."
He garnered some media attention during the campaign when he questioned President George W. Bush’s mental health and said he had seen a UFO.
"I did,”’ Kucinich said at a Democratic debate in 2007. "It’s unidentified. I saw something.”
In a discussion with editors of the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper, Kucinich suggested Bush’s comments about Iran and World War III suggest he needs "care."
"You cannot be a president of the United States who’s wanton in his expression of violence," Kucinich said. "There’s a lot of people who need care. He might be one of them. If there isn’t something wrong with him, then there’s something wrong with us. This, to me, is a very serious question."
News about the former Cleveland mayor’s candidacy was overshadowed by news about his much younger second-wife, Elizabeth Kucinich, who he married in August, 2005.
Elizabeth Kucinich, a native of England, is thirty years younger than her husband.
After losing badly in the New Hampshire primary, Kucinich demanded a recount because of electronic voting machine problems in the Myrtle Beach area. He spent $27,000, won a 40 percent recount, but it earned him all of 32 changed votes, with Sen. Barack Obama drawing 18 votes closer to Sen. Hillary Clinton, the N.H. primary winner.
At age 31, Kucinich was in the national spotlight in when he became "the Boy Mayor" of Cleveland and the youngest person ever elected to lead a major American city in 1977.
The former Cleveland mayor has been an Ohio congressman since 1997, but is facing challenges from local politicians who charge that Kucinich’s quest for the White House, and his failed effort to impeach Vice President Cheney have left the people of his district neglected.
In an "urgent personal appeal" Wednesday to his campaign supporters sent out by e-mail and released on YouTube, Kucinich said, "Right now I’m under attack by corporate interests, most of them from the city of Cleveland, who have an agenda that has nothing to do with the people of my community, nor with most people in this country."
"And so what I’m asking you to do is to help me stay in Congress, so that I can continue to represent the people of my community, the state of Ohio and the United States of America," he said.