Dennis Kucinich Will Stay in Ohio, Challenge Democrat for Congressional District

Susan Walsh/AP Photo

Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich was so convinced earlier this year he would be left without a job after the next election in his home state of Ohio that he had seriously considered moving to another state -Washington – and running for Congress there.

Ohio will lose two Congressional seats  in the next election – victim of a contracting population and growth elsewhere – and Kucinich, perhaps the most liberal member of Congress, was fearful that many of the liberal voters that made the core of his Cleveland district, would be dealt to districts elsewhere.

But the odd move of the liberal firebrand to the West Coast is not meant to be. Kucinich announced via Twitter Wednesday that, “We have a district!”.

And in a note to supporters on his website Kucinich wrote, “In a stunning development, the redistricting gave most of the Republican part of my old district to three incumbent Republican congressmen and left most of the Democratic part of my district intact. As a result, about 57% of registered Democrats in the new district come from my old district. With your help I clearly have a good chance to be able to continue to serve the people of Ohio and to remain a strong and outspoken voice for jobs, peace, clean water and clean air, education and civil rights.”

What he didn’t mention is that by staying and running for reelection to Congress in the newly created district that fuses parts of Cleveland and Toledo, he’ll likely have to challenge current Rep. Marcy Kaptur, another Democrat, in a primary. Kaptur has been in Congress, representing Toledo since 1983. Kucinich has served in Congress since 1997 and run for President twice in that time as a Democrat.

The moves, which were laid out by Republicans in Ohio, are not yet official. But the GOP there controls the legislature and the governorship. The top Republican in the House, Speaker John Boehner, has a keen interest in the Ohio delegation. Two sitting Republican freshmen in the Miami Valley, Mike Turner and Steve Austria, will have to face off in a primary if either man wants to keep his job.

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