Dennis Kucinich, rebounding from his unsuccessful bid for Cleveland’s mayoral seat in 2021, is resurfacing from political quietude to once again run for office, this time as an Independent for Congress.
Kucinich’s press team confirmed that Kucinich will formally announce his bid for Ohio’s 7th Congressional District, a seat currently held by Republican Max Miller, on Wednesday morning. The district includes a large swath of Cuyahoga County, all of Medina and Wayne counties, and the tip of Holmes County.
The candidacy for Congress, which Kucinich will kick off in Independence (get it?), is the next notch in the politician’s lengthy career in and chasing of public office work.
After a one-term stint as Cleveland’s 31-year-old “Boy Mayor,” Kucinich served on City Council through the early 1980s. In 1995, he won a seat on the Ohio State Senate, which segued to a 16-year run as a member of the U.S. House, representing Ohio’s 10th Congressional District.
A series of losses followed in Kucinich’s later professional years. Longshot presidential bides in 2004 and 2008 faltered early. And in 2012, he failed to reclaim his congressional seat in a race against Marcy Kaptur, losing by 16 percentage points. In 2018, he failed to beat Richard Cordray in the Democratic primary for the Ohio Governor’s seat, ultimately taken by Mike DeWine. A failed bid in a crowded field to succeed Frank Jackson as Cleveland mayor followed.
Politically, Kucinich’s stance on major issues has varied over the years.
As a candidate for Cleveland mayor, he leaned into his fight against corporate corruption—a callback to his battle in 1978 to save Muni Light—and has been graded an “F” by the NRA for his support of gun control.
Yet, Kucinich’s voting record was famously anti-abortion for the first six years in Congress. (He had an apparent “change of heart” in 2003, and then again running for governor in 2018.) And he’s been critical of the Democrats’ urge to impeach Trump, at least until the events of January 6th, which he called “unconstitutional.” His opposition to the Iraq war has in recent years been celebrated as prescient and he has remained anti-war, lobbying publicly for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. A pro peace candidate who once proposed a national Peace Department, his mayoral candidacy took on a hardline public safety angle late in the last mayoral affair.
Kucinich most recently served as campaign manager for Robert F. Kennedy, a staunch opponent of vaccines and proponent of conspiracy theories.
He’ll formally announce his Congressional candidacy at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Independence Civic Center at 6363 Selig Road.