Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich wants to run for Congress ... in Washington state. Ooh, bad idea.
IF you did not know anything about Dennis Kucinich, Ohio congressman and shameless self-promoter, you would think he was kidding about moving to Washington state to run for Congress.
But Kucinich is apparently toying with the idea of running in another state — from anywhere that will take him. His West Cleveland congressional seat is in danger of vanishing because of population decline and redistricting.
Washington need not be part of the Kucinich Road Show.
Politicians with last names as prominent as Kennedy and Clinton have moved to other states to run for office, places to which they have no connection beyond opportunity.
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But Kucinich is not exactly prompting a giant welcome mat. Washington has long lines of politicians who have been in their local communities, studying our issues, and will run for seats that come up in 2012.
“I don’t see how he could win an election for Congress in Washington,” said Dwight Pelz, chairman of the Washington State Democratic Party. “I don’t think voters will appreciate an Ohio congressman filing for office in the state of Washington.”
That’s party-ese for, “Have you lost your mind?”
Kucinich is apparently interested in the 1st District because current Congressman Jay Inslee is expected to run for governor if Gov. Chris Gregoire does not seek a third term. Or he could seek a spot in the brand new 10th District that might include parts of eastern King and Snohomish counties.
The best politicians capture the ideology and sense of place in a congressional district. Want to bet Kucinich cannot even pronounce Duvall? Say DOO-vall.
Kucinich would be legally qualified to run for Congress if he moved here and registered to vote before filing in spring 2012. So would this work? Would he be registered to vote in Washington while representing Ohio? Or would he quit his Ohio job six or seven months early?
Certainly some Washingtonians admire Kucinich and his progressive politics. But he would never get past the carpetbagger label.
Kucinich does have one connection to our state, which would not boost his campaign. He once said he spotted a giant triangular UFO while staying at actress Shirley MacLaine’s house in Pierce County.
Kucinich and the next far-fetched idea are never too many miles apart.