Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dennis Kucinich Might Move to Washington

As Virginia has just gone through its redistricting process, I’m beginning to receive a lot of emails from elected officials with comments about the results. While most of them are tying the comments in with their campaign kickoffs, we’re also seeing some interesting possibilities about the action other states are taking. In Ohio, for instance, the state is going to lose two Congressional Districts – one of which is rumored to be the one represented by Dennis Kucinich. Instead of retiring or facing a potentially very tough re-election bid in Ohio, however, there are a lot of rumors about Kucinich moving to the state of Washington which will receive an additional district as a result of redistricting.

Kucinich is fueling those rumors as he appeared at an event in Washington last week and told the crowd, "I intend to stay in Congress. I just don't know where my district will be.” His communications director event released a statement that essentially confirmed Kucinich is considering the move.
After people found out that Congressman Kucinich's district could be eliminated or substantially altered in congressional redistricting by the Ohio Legislature's Republican majority, Congressman Kucinich received requests from people in twenty states, including Washington State, encouraging him to move and run in their area. The Daily Show interview is instructive of this sentiment.

Congressman Kucinich appreciates the interest expressed in his public service. As he has repeatedly said, he fully intends to remain in Congress; he just doesn't know in what district he will run. In the meantime, he is devoted to serving Ohio's 10th district as it currently stands.
Moving into a district to run for office is something that isn’t very rare. As you might remember, State Senator Dave Marsden did it in 2009 when he decided to run for the seat he now holds. The GOP tried to make a big deal about this, but the voters simply didn’t buy their argument because Dave was staying in the Burke area. Since he was just moving down the street, already represented a large portion of the district in the House of Delegates, and had been attending community events for years, the voters were confident that Dave knew the district and would represent it well in the state Senate.

Kucinich, on the other hand, might run into some problems because he’ll be moving half way across the country in order to remain in Congress. Although many people are probably familiar with Kucinich, it takes some time to learn about local communities when you move to a new area. Anyone who has tried to organize in a new community, for instance, can tell you that it simply takes some time to learn who the movers and shakers are and the local history of a community that just can’t be found by reading the newspaper. While the move could be good for Kucinich’s long term political career, the first election or two would probably be relatively close for the corky Congressman who has a strong history of standing up for progressive issues.

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