Former Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio on Monday filed his candidacy for governor, the Ohio secretary of state’s office said, marking a return to politics for the former Democratic presidential candidate.
Sam Rossi, press secretary for the Ohio secretary of state, provided CNN a copy of Kucinich’s filing.
Kucinich spokesman Andy Juniewicz said in a statement Tuesday that the paperwork establishing a campaign committee was not Kucinich’s formal declaration and that the former congressman had yet to make an official announcement.
“Over the next several days, we will be providing additional information regarding further developments,” Juniewicz said.
Kucinich, a Cleveland politician and former mayor, gained national attention for his liberal positions and outspoken anti-war message, as well as his offbeat style.
He mounted two unsuccessful bids for president, once in the 2004 cycle and again in 2008.
He failed to hang on to his spot in Congress after redistricting helped push him into a 2012 race against another sitting Democrat. Kucinich lost his 2012 primary to Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur and later joined Fox News as a contributor.
A Fox News report said Kucinich was no longer a contributor as of Monday afternoon.
His decision to run for governor in 2018 means he joins a large field to succeed two-term Republican Gov. John Kasich. Kucinich’s opponents in the Democratic primary include Richard Cordray, who stepped down late last year as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, precipitating a clash within the Trump administration.
Ohio is generally considered a purple state, but it swung strongly for President Donald Trump in the 2016 election, and Ohio’s 2014 election results showed Kasich won his re-election bid with a strong margin.
One of the most liberal members of Congress during his tenure, Kucinich tried to have the House debate impeaching then-Vice President Dick Cheney several times and introduced a resolution to impeach then-President George W. Bush. Kucinich said in 2011 that then-President Barack Obama’s decision to strike Libya was likely an impeachable offense.