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Dennis Kucinich

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Congressman Dennis Kucinich and his wife, 2006

Congressman Dennis Kucinich and his wife, 2006

(ill Pugliano/Getty Images)
Dennis Kucinich is a six-term Congressman from Ohio's 10th district, which includes parts of Cleveland, Lakewood, North Olmsted, and other westside suburbs, as well as a former Cleveland mayor and councilman. He ended his run for the presidency on January 24, 2008 to concentrate on his congressional reelection campaign.

Early Years:

Dennis Kucinich was born in Cleveland in 1946 and has lived in the city most of his life. He is the eldest of seven children of working class parents. His family never owned a house as he was growing up and lived in 21 different places before he was 17. Kucinich earned a BA and an MA in communications from Cleveland's Case Western Reserve University.

As Cleveland Mayor:

After serving as a Cleveland city councilman (1970-75) and Clerk of Courts (1976-77), Dennis Kucinich was elected as Cleveland's mayor in 1977, becoming the youngest (31 years) individual to lead a major US city. His tenancy as mayor is best remembered for his refusal to sell the city's municipal light company to its private competitor. Because the banks that held the city's debt supported the deal, they refused to extend Cleveland credit and the city was forced to file bankruptcy.

More than a Politician:

In addition to serving as Cleveland's mayor and Ohio's 10th district congressman, Dennis Kucinich has worked as a hospital orderly, media consultant, broadcaster, teacher, and author. His 2004 book, "A Prayer for America," outlines his hopes for peace and for America.

As a Congressman:

Dennis Kucinich was elected to his sixth term in 2006 as Ohio's 10th district congressman. Kucinich, a democrat is a member of the House's Education Workforce Committee and its Government Reform Committee. Congressman Kucinich is also the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the largest congressional caucus.

Kucinich was defeated by fellow incumbent Marcy Kaptur in the March, 2012 primary for the revamped 9th district.

On the War in Iraq:

Rep. Kucinich has been a consistent and staunch opponent to the war in Iraq and to war in general. He strongly advocates bringing the troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan immediately. Kucinich has also proposed legislative to form a cabinet level Department of Peace and Non-violence.

On Healthcare:

Congressman Kucinich supports an affordable universal healthcare program. He was an original co-sponsor of the Medicare for All Act with Congressman John Conyers (HR 676). This bill would provide all Americans the health care they need, from any doctor they choose, at a universal, high standard of quality.

On LGBT Issues:

Dennis Kucinich supports same-sex marriage. He is also an advocate for sponsoring immigration of same-sex couples, adoption for same-sex couples, and extending the benefits of the Family Medical Leave Act to same-sex couples. He supports the elimination of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in the US military.

On the Environment:

Rep. Kucinich opposes drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and supports funding for Great Lakes cleanup. He has also lobbied to keep gas and oil interests out of Interior Department decision making.

On Civil Liberties:

Rep. Kucinich voted against the USA Patriot Act and advocates its repeal.

Kucinich for President
Rep. Kucinich announced his intention to run for President of the United States on December 12, 2006. Further information on the campaign, issues, and fund-raising may be found on this campaign website.

Family
Dennis Kucinich lives in the same modest Cleveland home that he purchased in the 1970s. He has one daughter, Jackie, and is married to the former Elizabeth Harper, a British citizen whom he met during the 2004 Presidential campaign. Rep. Kucinich is Congress' only vegan.

References:
Kucinich for President website
Congressman Kucinich Official Site
A Prayer for America, Kucinich; 2004; Pub. Group West
Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, Grabowski and Van Tassel; Indiana Univ. Press; 1987.

(Updated 3-9-12)

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