Under Fire, Kucinich Fights for House Seat

Rivals say candidate abandoned Cleveland for national ambitions
By Lucas Laursen,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2008 11:55 AM CST
Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, announces his withdrawal from the Democratic presidential primary race at the International Laborers' Union Local 310 hall, Friday, Jan. 25, 2008, in Cleveland. Kucinich,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Ex-presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich is battling no fewer than four contenders competing for his House seat in tomorrow's primary—and battling accusations that he abandoned Cleveland during his White House bid, Salon reports. Kucinich counters by saying that local issues are national: "Is this war not an issue for Cleveland? Is health care not a Cleveland issue?"

Kucinich is no underdog in the congressional race. Yellow "Dennis!" signs dot the district, and his longtime constituents jump to his defense. "I vote for Dennis all the time, no matter what he's running for," says a video-store owner. His chief rival has strong feelings about him, too: "I feel very passionately about the fact that our congressman has been absent," he says.