Dennis Kucinich to Visit Washington State … Again

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted March 22, 2012 at 1:21pm

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) is heading back to Washington state next month, stoking speculation he might be considering a comeback bid on the West Coast.

Kucinich will address a forum on protecting Social Security at Highline Community College on April 12, according to the group Washington Citizens for Kucinich.

But this may not be just any cross-country speaking trip. Last year, Kucinich flirted with running for a new House seat in the Evergreen State before seeking re-election in a redrawn Ohio district against his longtime colleague, Rep. Marcy Kaptur.

Kaptur walloped Kucinich by a 14-point margin in the Democratic primary earlier this month. But since his defeat, the 65-year-old hasn’t exactly ruled out another run somewhere, at some point in time.

“I have not made any plans, and I’m grateful to those who phoned in from Washington state or sent messages indicating an interest,” the former Cleveland mayor told the Progressive Radio Network. “I’ll find a way back in to public service, there’s no doubt about that. The only question is where and when.”

And Kucinich didn’t seem ready to back down in an email to his supporters sent this morning.

“Tomorrow’s victories will be built from the embers of defeat. Of this I have no doubt,” Kucinich wrote in the email. “How do I know this? I started my career in 1967 and since then, I have lost a total of eight times. Indeed, when I was elected to Congress in 1996, it was on my FIFTH try.”

Washington state’s election rules would make it easy for Kucinich to run there if he’s so inspired. The state’s filing deadline is May 18, and a candidate must only register to vote in the state before that date, according to David Ammons, a spokesman for the Washington Secretary of State’s office.

“They do have to register to vote, and to do that they would have to presumably show some proof of domicile,” Ammons said. “It’s a very low bar for access to the ballot here.”

Forget the burden of ballot petitions that so many other states require to run for Congress. In Washington state, a Congressional candidate must only pay 1 percent of the annual salary of a House Member as his filing fee and declare his party affiliation.

Washington Citizens for Kucinich is keenly aware of these simple requirements. But one of the draft group’s leaders, David Spring, told Roll Call that he believes it’s best if the Congressman makes a decision by the end of April.

“Our plan is to collect [petition draft] signatures for the next 30 days, and then present it to him,” Spring said. “I don’t think he has any idea how many people here in Washington state believe in the cause of peace.”

Kucinich’s speaking venue is in the redrawn 9th district, where Rep. Adam Smith (D) is a safe bet to win re-election. But Des Moines, Wash., is only a mere 15-minute drive from the new 10th district, which is a safe Democratic seat.