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Double Dose of Bad News for Long Shots

Two House Members who are waging long-shot White House bids are facing devastating news this week.

[IMGCAP(1)]According to several media reports Wednesday, Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) is expected to end his candidacy this afternoon. He has a news conference scheduled for a Des Moines hotel and he may choose to endorse one of his rivals for the GOP nomination there.

Tancredo, the leading hard-liner in the House on immigration issues, had hoped to parlay that strong position into an upset victory in the Republican presidential primaries. But as cracking down on illegal immigrants becomes more of a mainstream GOP position, Tancredo found he could never really gain any traction.

The five-term Member already had announced his plans to retire from Congress at the end of 2008.

Meanwhile, Perry Kucinich, the younger brother of Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), was found dead early Wednesday morning in his apartment in Cleveland. He was 51.

The cause of death had yet to be determined by press time Wednesday, although a report by The Associated Press said that foul play was not suspected.

The Congressman, who also is running for president, flew from Washington, D.C., to Cleveland on Wednesday afternoon to be with his family.

“The Kucinich family is very close knit,” said family spokesman Andy Juniewicz. “This is a devastating loss to each and every member of the Kucinich family.”

In a statement, the Congressman called his brother, who was an artist, “a genius.”

“He was an admirer of the works of Klee and Picasso, and the style and structure of his artwork derived from their influences,” Kucinich said. “He was a genius. He had extraordinary insights.”

Funeral services are pending. In addition to his brother Dennis, Perry Kucinich is survived by brothers Frank, Gary and Larry, and by sisters Theresa and Beth Ann. They all live in Northeast Ohio.

— Josh Kurtz

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