Dennis John Kucinich, born October 8, 1946, is a Democratic American politician and a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in both 2004 and 2008.
Kucinich currently represents the 10th District of Ohio in the United States House of Representatives. His district includes most of western Cleveland, as well as such suburbs as Parma and Cuyahoga Heights. He is currently the chairman of the Domestic Policy Subcommittee of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He is also a member of the Education and Labor Committee.
From 1977 to 1979, Kucinich served as the 53rd mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, a tumultuous term in which he survived a recall election and was successful in a battle against selling the municipal electric utility before being defeated for reelection by George Voinovich.
Kucinich has criticized the foreign policy of President Bush, including the 2003 invasion of Iraq and what appears to many to be building American hostility towards Iran. Kucinich is the only Democratic presidential candidate who voted against the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He has since voted against funding it 100% of the time.
In 2005, Kucinich voted against the Iran Freedom and Support Act, calling it a "stepping stone to war." The congressman also signed a letter of solidarity with Hugo Chávez in Venezuela in 2004.
He advocates the abolition of all nuclear weapons calling on the United States to be the leader in multilateral disarmament. Kucinich has also been a strong opponent of space based weapons and has sponsored legislation, HR 2977, banning the deployment and use of space-based weapons.
Kucinich advocates U.S. withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) because, in his view, it causes the loss of more American jobs than it creates, and does not provide adequate protections for worker rights and safety and environmental safeguards. He is against the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) for the same reason.
Kucinich is also in favor of increased dialogue with Iran in order to avoid a militaristic confrontation at all costs. He expressed such sentiments at an American Iranian Council conference in New Brunswick, New Jersey which included Chuck Hagel, Javad Zarif, Nicholas Kristof, and Anders Liden to discuss Iranian-American relations, and potential ways to increase dialogue in order to avoid conflict.
His major issues are: