I can’t keep track of all the appearances by Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich in Washington State this year. It’s been more than a few. There will be another on July 9th, when he speaks at the NWroots Conference.
Kucinich stands to get redistricted out of a seat in Congress this year, and is shopping for a new home district so he can continue to serve in Congress. The Congressman has been clear that he won’t run against an incumbent Democrat, which means he will likely have to leave Ohio if he is going to remain in Congress. Washington State is apparently on his short list, although Kucinich denies the existence of any such list.
State Democratic Party chair Dwight Pelz told Kucinich thanks, but no thanks, in a phone conversation earlier this year (I had a conversation with Kucinich about that call, and he implied Dwight was pretty blunt about it). I’ve talked with many others who would rather Kucinich kept his nose out of Washington State. I have mixed feelings. If he could help the Democrats win or hold a seat, I’d be okay with it, but I haven’t imagined a scenario yet where Kucinich would be a good fit. The Tenth, Eighth, Seventh, Third, and First districts are all possibilities. (A rumor is circulating that Seventh District Congressman Jim McDermott might be appointed Ambassador of India. His office denies it.) We won’t know the Demographics or candidates pool until redistricting is complete early next year.
Kucinich will Join Congressmen Inslee and McDermott, Washington State Labor Council President Jeff Johnson, and former Canadian Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh as a feature speaker at NWroots at the Comedy Underground in Pioneer Square.
The meat of the program consists of breakout sessions/group discussions on labor, healthcare, media, immigration, electronic voting, agriculture, Afghanistan, and the mortgage crisis.
Registration is $50 ($25 students), and includes breakfast and lunch. Registration/breakfast begins at 7:30 AM. The program runs 8:30 – 5:30, followed by an after-party at the Central Saloon.