WASHINGTON (JTA) — U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich announced that he will not run for a House seat in Washington after losing the Democratic nomination for his seat in Ohio.
"After careful consideration and discussions with Elizabeth and my closest friends, I have decided that, at this time, I can best serve from outside the Congress," Kucinich said this week in a statement posted on his website.
Kucinich, a perennial presidential candidate and former Cleveland mayor, will retire from the House of Representatives at the end of his eighth term.
In March, following redistricting that placed his district in the same district with fellow Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur, Kucinich lost the primary. He was flirting with the idea of running in an open seat race in Washington.
During his time in the House, Kucinich was a consistent critic of Israel. He advocated increased U.S. pressure on Israel to make concessions toward peace and routinely voted against legislation backed by pro-Israel groups, most recently on Thursday, when he was one of 11 members to vote against a nonbinding resolution that rejected "containment" of Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program. The measure passed, with 401 members voting in favor.
In 2010, following Israel’s raid on the Turkish Mavi Marmara flotilla en route to Gaza, Kucinich in a letter to President Obama condemned Israel for its “act of belligerence against Turkey.”
“The attack on the Mavi Marmara requires consequences for the Netanyahu Administration and for the State of Israel," Kucinich wrote. "Those consequences must be dealt by the United States. They must be diplomatic and they must be financial."
Kucinich also was a vocal critic of Iran sanctions, arguing in 2009 that sanctions were “counterproductive” and amount "to economic warfare against the Iranian people.”