Former Cleveland mayor, U.S. Rep. and two-time presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich confirmed rumors on Thursday by announcing his campaign for governor. He becomes the sixth Democrat in the primary.
Earlier this week, the 71-year-old filed paperwork with the Ohio Secretary of State's office naming a treasurer for his campaign, although he continued to sidestep questions about a governor run. At several public appearances this year, including events endorsing the drug price ballot issue and discussing charter schools, Kucinich repeatedly said he didn't want to talk politics.
That changed on Thursday.
Kucinich represented Ohio’s 10th District in northeast Ohio from 1997-2013, before losing to fellow Democrat and current Rep. Marcy Kaptur in the primary. Kucinich ran for the Democratic nominations for president in 2004 and 2008, and then took a gig as a commentator on Fox News.
Kucinich joins former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau chief Richard Cordray, Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill, former state Rep. Connie Pillich, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, and state Sen. Joe Schiavoni in the Democratic primary for governor. Former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton was also running, but this week joined Cordray's campaign as his lieutenant governor pick.
On the Republican side, the field has narrowed to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, after Rep. Jim Renacci announced he would campaign for U.S. Senate instead.