The colorful legislator was defeated Tuesday in a Democratic primary after representing his district for 16 years.
When Cleveland voters decided in 1979 that they no longer wanted Dennis Kucinich to be their mayor, political observers assumed that the 33-year-old's political career was over. Nope. Nearly two decades later - after a stint living in Los Angeles with actress Shirley MacClaine and reportedly seeing a UFO - he won an Ohio Congressional seat running as a pro-life Democrat, and though his politics changed over the years from socially conservative to staunchly progressive, the eight term legislator didn't lose another election until Tuesday, when a 15-term congresswoman thrust in his path by redistricting won the primary for the seat they cannot share.
The 65-year old Kucinich hasn't said what he'll do next, though he's speculated about moving to Washington state to run in a friendly district. His opponent attacked him during the race for flirting with the Pacific Northwest by comparing him to LeBron James, who enraged Cleveland residents when he took his talents to South Beach. A Kucinich departure may still happen, for the Washington state filing deadline for candidates isn't until May 18. Says the Cleveland Plain Dealer, "All he'd have to do is obtain an
address there by then, and file the necessary paperwork."
CBS Politics reports that the race he just lost came down to an electorate focused on the economy. "During the campaign, Kucinich -- an outspoken anti-war liberal -- attacked Kaptur for voting to fund 'Bush's wars,' voting for the Patriot Act, backing the Keystone XL pipeline and opposing gay marriage," the news organization stated. "Kaptur, meanwhile, slammed Kucinich for voting against bills that would have brought in funds for new manufacturing jobs and veterans' care."