Skip to Content

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. picks former Rep. Dennis Kucinich as his campaign manager

<i>Scott Eisen/Getty Images</i><br/>Former Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich introduces Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at his official presidential announcement in Boston on April 19. Kennedy has selected Kucinich as his campaign manager.
Scott Eisen/Getty Images
Former Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich introduces Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at his official presidential announcement in Boston on April 19. Kennedy has selected Kucinich as his campaign manager.

By Kaanita Iyer, CNN

(CNN) — Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has selected former Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich as his campaign manager.

In a statement Thursday, Kennedy described Kucinich, a two-time Democratic presidential candidate himself, as someone who “knows how the system works from the inside out.”

“Dennis Kucinich has brought invaluable electoral experience to our campaign,” Kennedy said. “[His] deep knowledge of issues and his personal integrity are fully aligned with the core values our campaign is bringing to American politics.”

Kennedy, an environmental lawyer and anti-vaccine activist who has pushed debunked conspiracy theories about vaccine safety, entered the 2024 Democratic primary last month shortly before President Joe Biden announced his reelection bid. A recent Fox News poll put support for Kennedy among Democratic primary voters at 19% compared with 62% for Biden and 9% for author Marianne Williamson.

Kucinich unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for president in 2004 and 2008 but earned a following among party progressives.

During his first campaign, he ran on a platform that included decriminalizing marijuana and support for same-sex marriage. As a candidate for president, he also backed abortion rights – a stance he had adopted after previously opposing abortion. While he did not win any primaries or caucuses, Kucinich didn’t drop out of the race until a few days before the 2004 Democratic convention when he endorsed Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry.

Kucinich’s second campaign for president was shorter. After running on platforms that called for single-payer health care, combating global warming and withdrawing US troops from Iraq, he dropped out of the primary by January.

Kucinich got his start in politics in Cleveland as a member of the city council in 1969. He rose up the ranks to become the city’s mayor in 1977 – at 31, he was at the time the youngest person ever elected mayor of a major US city. He survived a recall attempt but was unseated by Republican George Voinovich in 1979.

After earlier unsuccessful runs for Congress, Kucinich was elected to the US House in 1996 and went on to serve eight terms. He was among the most liberal Democrats during his tenure, which included two terms as a co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Kucinich notably opposed the war in Iraq and proposed creating a federal department of peace. During the Geoge W. Bush administration, he introduced resolutions to impeach the president and Vice President Dick Cheney. He said in 2011 that then-President Barack Obama’s decision to strike Libya was likely an impeachable offense.

In 2012, Kucinich lost a primary to fellow Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur after redistricting pitted the two lawmakers against each other.

He reentered politics in 2018 with a bid for Ohio governor but lost in the Democratic primary. In 2021, he sought his old job as Cleveland mayor but finished third in the nonpartisan primary.

™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Fredreka Schouten contributed to this report.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

Jump to comments ↓

CNN Newsource


KIFI Local News 8 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content