CLEVELAND - Democrat Dennis Kucinich abandoned his presidential bid Friday to focus on a tough race for re-election to Congress.
Kucinich, speaking at a union hall, told supporters who chanted "Dennis, Dennis," that he would work to keep his campaign promises, not as president, but as a member of the U.S. House.
"I won't be president, but I can continue to fight for these important issues as the United States congressman representing the community that is first in my heart, Cleveland, Ohio," he said.
Kucinich made an urgent appeal on his Web site this week for congressional campaign contributions as "the only candidate who can't be bought - 'cause he's not for sale."
The six-term House member got only 1 percent of the vote in the New Hampshire presidential primary and was shut out in the Iowa caucuses.
Kucinich, 61, is facing four challengers in the Democratic congressional primary March 4. Rival Joe Cimperman has been critical of Kucinich for focusing too much time outside of his district while campaigning for president.
The Ohio congressman brought the same sense of idealism to his second run for president as he did in his first bid four years ago. He said he entered the race again because the Democratic Party wasn't pushing hard enough to end the Iraq war. His candidacy was supported by many Hollywood celebrities, including actor Sean Penn.
During his tenure in Congress, Kucinich has been one of the most outspoken liberals, opposing international trade agreements like the North America Free Trade Agreement and marching with protesters in Seattle during a meeting of the World Trade Organization.
As a presidential candidate, he has proposed a Department of Peace, backed universal health care and supported gay marriage. He also pushed for the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney.
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