Unhappy With Democrats Over Iraq, Kucinich Plans Another Bid for White House

By Zachary A. Goldfarb and Peter Slevin
Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Citing dissatisfaction with his party's strategy on Iraq, Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (Ohio) announced yesterday that he would run for the Democratic presidential nomination.


Kucinich, 60, a five-term House member and one of the most liberal members of his party, made an unsuccessful bid for the nomination in 2004. He stayed in the race long after it became clear he had no chance of success.

The congressman said he would announce his candidacy today at City Hall in Cleveland, where he served as mayor in the late 1970s and plunged his city into a celebrated budget crisis over the electric utility, Muny Light. As a member of Congress, Kucinich has been a vocal critic of the war and has complained that his party has not done enough to force a withdrawal of U.S. troops.

"Democrats were swept into power on November 7 because of widespread voter discontent with the war in Iraq," Kucinich said. "Instead of heeding those concerns and responding with a strong and immediate change in policies and direction, the Democratic congressional leadership seems inclined to continue funding the perpetuation of the war."

While many fellow Democrats have strongly opposed the war, Kucinich has suggested that Congress stop funding it. In the past, Kucinich has proposed creating a universal health care system and a national peace department.

Daley May Best His Dad's Record

Seventeen years after he took office, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley (D) declared yesterday that five terms is not enough. He announced he will seek a sixth term in the job he loves, surprising no one.

If he wins and serves out his term, he will overtake his larger-than-life father: Richard J. Daley, Chicago's longest-serving mayor, died after 21 years in office.

Daley, 64, has suffered from a continuing investigation into political hiring in City Hall, which led to the court conviction of his patronage chief, Robert Sorich. The mayor, who has been questioned by federal prosecutors, denies wrongdoing.

Two prospective Democratic challengers who might have given Daley a race have decided to stay in Congress. Barring a sudden twist, the absence of Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. and Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez leaves little doubt that he will win on Feb. 27.

His two announced opponents are Dorothy Brown, Cook County Circuit Court clerk, and Bill "Dock" Walls, a former aide to the late mayor Harold Washington.

"I have more to give to keep Chicago moving forward," Daley said at a rally on Chicago's South Side. "Chicago's a better, stronger place to live and raise a family than it was the day we walked in the door."

Daley said he accepts responsibility for what has gone wrong and is overhauling hiring practices and campaign finance rules. He said he is addressing the problems directly "so the mistakes of the past won't be repeated."

And the Winner Is . . . Almost

More than a month after the midterm election, it is, finally, over.

Well, sort of.

Officials in Franklin County, Ohio, yesterday announced that a recount triggered by state law in the 15th Congressional District confirmed that six-term Rep. Deborah Pryce (R) has defeated Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy. On Nov. 7, Pryce had a lead of just more than 1,000 votes, a difference of less than half a percentage point, which prompted a recount. In the end, Pryce gained seven more votes.

The race received substantial attention during the campaign because Pryce was the fourth-ranking Republican in the House, and a spokeswoman for her party. The result is not official until the county board meets Friday.

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