Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio has announced his retirement from Congress rather than seeking a new term through a vacant seat in Washington State. Kucinich will lose his longtime Ohio seat under Republican-mandated redistricting at the end of the year. He recently lost a primary to another Ohio Democrat, Marcy Kaptur, in a redrawn district. Kucinich had been considering running for one of Washington State’s vacant seats, but on Wednesday announced he will step down instead. Kucinich said: “I have decided that, at this time, I can best serve from outside the Congress. My commitments to peace, to workers’ rights and to social and economic justice are constant and are not dependent upon holding an office.” On Wednesday, Kucinich spoke out against war funding on the House floor.
Dennis Kucinich: “We spend trillions of dollars for war, to wage violence thousands of miles away, and we’ve become anesthetized to the violence of war against millions of innocent women, children and men abroad. It’s no wonder that we’re grappling with how best to deal with domestic violence. Imagine if we took a fraction of the trillions of dollars we spent for war and used it to deal with directly the root causes — ask for another 15 seconds — and ask for money to deal with the root causes, the root causes of domestic violence, spousal abuse, child abuse, violence in the school, gang violence, gun violence, racial violence, violence against immigrants, violence against gays. I mean, if we did that and looked at the root causes, we wouldn’t even be arguing about spending money for war. We need to look at the issue of violence in America, and do it in a consistent, comprehensive way. I yield back.”