Dennis Kucinich was only 31 when he was elected mayor of Cleveland in 1977, making him then the youngest-ever mayor of a major American city. A feisty liberal Democrat from a blue-collar background, Dennis Kucinich soon made waves by refusing to sell the city's municipal electric system to private competitors during a budget crisis, thereby pushing the city into temporary bankruptcy. (Though it was a controversial move at the time, saving the "Muny" has since become a positive cornerstone of Kucinich's image.) Kucinich lost his bid for reelection in 1979; after a long period away from electoral politics, he was elected an Ohio state senator in 1994 and then elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio's 10th District in 1996. Though derided by his opponents as a way-left liberal, Kucinich ran for president in 2004 and carried his campaign all the way to the Democratic convention, where John Kerry was nominated. He announced as a candidate for president again in December 2006 but withdrew in January 2008. He remained a Congressman from the 10th District until 2012, when he lost the Democratic primary after congressional redistricting.
His name is pronounced “koo-SIN-itch”… Dennis Kucinich is a vegan (which means he does not consume animal or dairy products); his 2004 campaign website called him “one of the few vegans in Congress”… He was 58, and the former Elizabeth Harper was 27, when they married in August 2005. His two previous marriages had ended in divorce; he has one daughter from his marriage (1977-86) to the former Sandra Lee McCarthy… Dennis Kucinich is 5’7” tall, according to a 1977 profile in The New York Times… Kucinich was in the news in January of 2011, when he filed suit against the company that runs the House cafeteria; Kucinich said an unpitted olive in a cafeteria sandwich broke his tooth in 2008, leading to a series of dental surgeries. The suit was settled, with the terms undisclosed, a few days after he filed it.