Kucinich drops out of U.S. presidential race

WASHINGTON Thu Jan 24, 2008 5:44pm EST

Dennis Kucinich waves to the crowd after speaking at the New Hampshire Democratic Party 100 Club dinner in Milford, January 4, 2008. Kucinich told a newspaper on Thursday he would end his race for the U.S. presidency after registering little voter support in early state contests. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Dennis Kucinich waves to the crowd after speaking at the New Hampshire Democratic Party 100 Club dinner in Milford, January 4, 2008. Kucinich told a newspaper on Thursday he would end his race for the U.S. presidency after registering little voter support in early state contests.

Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democrat Dennis Kucinich told a newspaper on Thursday he would end his race for the U.S. presidency after registering little voter support in the early state contests.

Kucinich, 61, a liberal member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Cleveland, Ohio, told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer he would make his withdrawal announcement in that city on Friday.

"I want to continue to serve in Congress," he said.

His campaign issued a statement saying he would announce plans on Friday for "transitioning out of the Democratic presidential primary race."

Kucinich is an outspoken Iraq war critic who has consistently voted against funding the war and led anti-war efforts in Congress.

He said he would not endorse another candidate in the race for the Democratic nomination to contest November's presidential election.

Kucinich attracted ardent supporters and stayed in the race even after it became clear that his campaign was going nowhere. His 30-year-old wife, Elizabeth, who stands a head taller than her husband, was generally at his side on the campaign trail.

Kucinich was ridiculed for saying at a Democratic debate that he had seen a UFO, a fact that was revealed in a book by actress Shirley MacLaine.

(To read more about the U.S. political campaign, visit Reuters "Tales from the Trail: 2008" online at blogs.reuters.com/trail08/)

(Reporting by Steve Holland, editing by David Alexander)

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