Ohio's Kucinich won't rule out future campaigns
By THOMAS J. SHEERAN, Associated Press
CLEVELAND, Jan. 3, 2013 (AP): Dennis Kucinich, a leading voice
in the left wing of the Democratic Party, left Congress on
Thursday after 16 years but said he wouldn't rule out another
run for public office.
After members of the new Congress took office, Kucinich said
he's determined to remain a voice for change even if he doesn't
have a House vote on Capitol Hill.
``It remains to be seen'' if he will run for office again, he
told The Associated Press in a phone interview from Washington.
``There's no campaign in the offing.''
Kucinich said he still has a supply of yellow campaign yard
signs in a garage.
The former ``boy mayor'' of Cleveland and two-time presidential
candidate said his plans include speaking and tending to a
political action committee created to nurture like-minded
``I'm going to continue my efforts to reach out to unite
people,'' he said. ``I'm making plans right now.''
Kucinich, 66, lost last year to U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Toledo
in a Democratic primary set up by Republican redistricting.
With a national following among progressives, Kucinich is known
for his offbeat, brash style since becoming Cleveland's mayor at
age 31. One of his pet projects in Washington called for
creating a cabinet-level Department of Peace to address violence
in schools, homes, work places and across the nation and world.
Kucinich expressed frustration with the growing financial
demands of running for public office and said even congressional
races can cost an ``obscene'' eight figures.
Campaign money makes government ``an auction house where the
policies go the highest bidder,'' he said. He said public
financing of campaigns would make the nation ``a true
While the new Congress might show some support in that
direction, Kucinich said, ``The support has to come from
grassroots, more than from Washington.''
``Let's face it, people in Washington—and there are a lot of
good people here—they are trapped by this system,'' he said.
Reflecting on his runs for the White House, where he badly
trailed the Democratic primary fields in 2004 and 2008, Kucinich
said voters connected with his positions but he found it
difficult balancing the time demands of a congressional job and
``National health care, peace, job creation, new trade policies,
new monetary policies _ these are all things that resonated as
well as workers' rights,'' he said. ``Wherever I went, those
were at the top of what people were talking about.''
Kucinich said the toughest part of his White House campaigns was
trying to make major votes in Congress and still campaign.
``A presidential campaign requires a massive amount of
attention, time and focus and the obligations of a member of
Congress are such that it's very difficult to balance the two,''
Kucinich deflected a question on whether he would miss public
office, his life's work. ``I'm appreciative of the opportunities
to serve and I'm excited that I will be able to make
contributions in another capacity. What those will be, we'll
see,'' he said.