By Jerry Cornfield
Don’t write a political obituary for Democratic U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio quite yet.
Kucinich lost tonight to U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, a fellow liberal Democrat, in a much-watched primary contest. But Kucinich advisers are making no attempt to stifle rumors of the veteran congressman moving to another state like Washington and running for office.
And opportunities abound with three open seats in Washington – the brand new 10th District, the reconfigured 1st District and also the 6th District, a vacancy created by the pending retirement of U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks.
In a story posted tonight on Politico.com, Andy Juniewicz, Kucinich’s longtime spokesman, “refused to knock down repeated questions over whether the congressman would run for reelection in Washington state.”
And the speculation popped up again at the conclusion of a New York Times profile on Kucinich that ran Tuesday. It reads:
Many political analysts in Ohio agreed that Mr. Kucinich faced an uphill battle on Tuesday, something Mr. Kucinich’s supporters did not deny. But few were willing to write him off, saying that his determination to remain part of the American political conversation means he will remain in the public sphere, even if he loses here.
One possibility might be running in Washington State, something he had been exploring last year.
“Dennis Kucinich has more lives than Felix the Cat,” (Former U.S. Rep. Dennis) Eckart said. “He’s been pronounced politically dead a dozen times. You’re tempted to say, ‘He’s going to lose.’ Then you realize he does lose frequently, but he comes back every time.”
Rumors of Kucinich coming to the state in order to run for Congress started stirring last year when majority Republicans in Ohio’s Legislature made it pretty clear they planned to use redistricting to make it tough for Kucinich to keep his seat.
Kucinich poured fuel on the fire with repeated visits to the state including a May stopover in Shoreline where he flipped vegan pancakes at a Democratic fund raiser.
Each trip he refused to rule out the possibility of relocating and running which made state Democratic leaders nervous. At the time state Democratic Party Chairman Dwight Pelz said he was concerned a Kucinich run could cost the party the 1st or 10th because he’d be cast a carpetbagger.
Kucinich has time to decide. Candidates don’t file for office until May.