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Kucinich to WA: Never mind

Whether you were wishing that U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich would pull up stakes and move to Washington because you really, really like him, or the exact opposite, you're not going to get your wish.

The Associated Press is reporting that Kucinich is likely to stay in Ohio after all, rather than relocating to Washington state to run for Congress here. And the congressman is telling supporters in that state with their help he has a good chance to keep his seat.

Apparently the redistricting in Ohio is going better than he expected, and his district in Cleveland won't be completely wiped out in the latest redrawing of boundaries. But he will have to run against another Democratic incumbent, Marcy Kaptur, who is saying she's not stepping aside.

This may disappoint a few Western Washington progressives, who are strong supporters of Kucinich's brand of liberalism. During a recent appearance at Seattle's Hempfest, he touched all the bases from ending the wars and abolishing nuclear weapons to protecting the environment and legalizing marijuana.

It may disappoint even more Republicans, who seemed extremely anxious to have Kucinich roiling the mix out here. (Update: Go inside the blog to see State GOP Chairman Kirby Wilbur's sorrowful comments regarding the news.)

Washington's redistricting, meanwhile,  may not be providing Kucinich with any good landing spot, even though it will have a new congressional district and at least one open seat. Asked yesterday at the end of the Redistricting Commission meeting which district might be best for a Kucinich run, House Democratic appointee Dean Foster replied: "One in Ohio."

Kirby Wilbur Mourns the Loss of a Dennis Kucinich Spoiler

Bellevue, WA – After learning the unfortunate news that Representative Dennis Kucinich will not be running for a seat in Congress in Washington state, WSRP Chairman Kirby Wilbur released the following statement:

“On behalf of the Republican Party here in Washington State, let me express our regrets and disappointment over Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s decision to stay in Ohio to run for re-election rather than move here.

“We were so looking forward to him coming here. His radical left-wing beliefs and general kookiness fit in so well with the mainstream of the Washington State Democratic Party, it would have been a match made in heaven and an easy Republican victory.

“We plan on winning a lot of races next year (especially after what happened in New York’s 9th Congressional District yesterday), but having Congressman Kucinich here and defeating him would have been the icing on the cake. We hope he reconsiders.”

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Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981. He is currently the political reporter and state government reporter in the newspaper's Olympia bureau office.

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