CLEVELAND — Nearly two years after his failed bid to once again become Cleveland's mayor, Dennis Kucinich is once again hitting the campaign trail.
Only this time, he'll be in a different role.
On Thursday, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announced that Kucinich will serve as the campaign manager for his bid in the 2024 presidential election. Kennedy announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination last month, joining a field that includes President Joe Biden and author Marianne Williamson.
“Dennis Kucinich has brought invaluable electoral experience to our campaign,” Kennedy said in a statement on his campaign's website. “He knows how the system works from the inside out, and his deep knowledge of issues and his personal integrity are fully aligned with the core values our campaign is bringing to American politics.”
A native of Cleveland, Kucinich was first elected to Cleveland City Council in 1969 and was elected as the city's mayor in 1977. At 31 years old, he was the youngest mayor of any major city in the United States, which led to his nickname "the boy mayor of Cleveland."
After losing his re-election bid to George Voinovich in 1979, he returned to Cleveland City Council following a special election in 1983. In 1985, he ran for governor of Ohio as an independent but ultimately withdrew from the race and remained out of politics until winning a seat in the Ohio State Senate in 1994.
In 1996, Kucinich was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he represented Ohio's 10th district until retiring from Congress in 2013. In the time since, he has run for governor of Ohio (2018) and mayor of Cleveland (2021), losing primaries in both races.
In joining the Kennedy campaign, Kucinich faces another likely uphill battle; dating back to the advent of the modern primary election system in 1972, an incumbent president has never been defeated by a challenger in a primary race.