Dennis John Kucinich is a Democratic American politician and a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in 2004 and 2008. 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 was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on October 8, 1946, as the eldest of the seven children of Frank and Virginia Kucinich. His father, a truck driver, was of Croatian ancestry; his Irish American mother was a homemaker He attended Cleveland State University from 1967 to 1970. In 1973, he graduated from Case Western Reserve University with both a BA and an MA in speech and communication.
At 31, he was the youngest mayor of a major city in the United States, earning him the nickname "the boy mayor of Cleveland". Kucinich's tenure as mayor is often regarded as one of the most tumultuous in Cleveland's history. In 1996, Kucinich was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, representing the 10th district of Ohio. He has been re-elected five times. He serves on the Congressional Education and Labor Committee as well as the Government Reform Committee. He is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and is a self-described "Wellstone Democrat."
Kucinich ran from president in 2004. Ralph Nader praised Kucinich as "a genuine progressive", and most Greens were friendly to Kucinich's campaign, some going so far as to indicate that they would not have run against him had he won the Democratic nomination. However, Kucinich was unable to carry any states in the 2004 Democratic Primaries, and John Kerry eventually won the Democratic nomination at the Democratic National Convention. On December 11, 2006 in a speech delivered at Cleveland City Hall, Kucinich announced he would seek the nomination of the Democratic Party for President in 2008.