PORTLAND, ME - Ohio Congressman and Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich announced today that he plans to meet with Independent political leaders across the country as part of a process to reach out to and build a direct alliance with voters who are not aligned with either major political party.
Independent, non-aligned voters are now 42% of the national electorate. And, with 29 states holding open Presidential primaries, Independents could substantially influence both the Democratic and Republican primary contests.
During the presidential candidate's visit to California and Nevada over the past few days, Kucinich met with Jim Mangia, Co-Chair of Independent Voice.org, an organization representing California's 3.5 million independent voters, and Linda Curtis, Director of Independent Texans. He will soon meet with independent leaders in New Hampshire, an open primary state, New York, and elsewhere.
While re-affirming his commitment to continue running as a Democrat for that party's Presidential nomination, Kucinich noted, "Independent voters are a critical and growing constituency in American politics that must be related to and recognized as a major progressive force in our democracy. Independents are in the forefront of the movement for political reform and social change."
Kucinich added, "When Independents helped give Democrats control of Congress in 2006, it really hit me that these are the voters fueling a pro-democracy movement in America and voters with whom we must align if we are to change politics in America. We must clean up and open up politics in America, reinvigorate our democracy and establish an alliance between Democrats and Independents in the open primary states that will send a clear message of the direction our country needs to take. I am proud to be an independent spirit working in the Democratic Party to bring an end to war as an instrument of policy, enact a universal not-for-profit health care system, and lead a concerted effort to end poverty in America."
A recent poll published in the Wall Street Journal indicated that 42% of Americans now self-identify as Independents. These voters span the political spectrum on a variety of critical issues but are united in their concerns to reform the political system, challenge partisanship and political gridlock, eliminate the influence of special interests, and reinvigorate democracy.
After his visit to California, Congressman Kucinich spoke Friday to the Democratic National Committee's "American Majority Partnership Summit" in Las Vegas, Nevada. He received a standing ovation when he spoke of the need for peace, the need for the party to show leadership on Iraq, and the need to stand for a not-for-profit health care system.