Dennis Kucinich, the Democratic Ron Paul, loses reelection bid

Dennis Kucinich’s political future looks bleak after the six-term Congressman found himself trounced in Ohio’s primary yesterday. Thanks to Republican redistricting that erased his Congressional district, Kucinich faced another veteran Democratic lawmaker, the more conservative Rep. Marcy Kaptur, and though he fought hard to keep his place on Capitol Hill, Kucinich lost by about 24 points, Politico reports.

Kucinich has a national following thanks to his 2004 and 2008 presidential campaigns, campaigns that helped expose the American public to his distinctly progressive and sometimes odd political views. Kucinich is one of the only Democrats to have voted against the war with Iraq, he wants to abolish the death penalty, has been trumpeting universal single-payer health care for years, hopes the U.S. will one day establish a “Department of Peace” and says he saw a UFO while hanging out with actress Shirley MacLaine.

In terms of both politics and personality, Dennis Kucinich is essentially the Democratic Party’s version of Ron Paul: a peace-lover who fights for personal freedoms and tries to keep the United States out of other people’s business. Both Kucinich and Paul, for example, have voted against bills that would have charged Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with genocide for his Holocaust-denying comments, and voted against a measure that would recognize Israel’s “right to defend itself” against Hamas rocket attacks. Kucinich also signed a letter of solidarity supporting Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.

Yet for all his support among progressives, Kucinich appears to have been out of step with his fellow Ohioans, which may explain his recent visits to more left-leaning Washington State; political observers speculate he’s considering a run there, and his staff doesn’t deny the speculation. So never fear, Kucinich fans, your favorite vegan lawmaker with a shockingly hot wife may be done in Ohio, but his career could continue elsewhere. As he said during his concession speech last night, “you don’t have to be a member of Congress to fight for social and economic justice.”

As for Kaptur, she’ll face Republican primary winner Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher come November. Yes, that’s right: Joe the Plumber, a man John McCain used as a political pawn in 2008, may become a member of Congress. Ohio be crazy!