February 12th, 2010
09:43 AM ET
5 years ago

Rep. Patrick Kennedy not running for re-election

(CNN) – Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy, a Democrat, is not running for re-election, he said Thursday in a video to his constituents.

"Having spent two decades in politics, my life is taking a new direction and I will not be a candidate for reelection this year," he said. "Going forward, I will continue many of the fights we've waged together, particularly on behalf of those suffering from depression, addiction, autism and post-traumatic stress disorder.

"I'm so grateful to the people of Rhode Island. When I made missteps or suffered setbacks, you responded not with contempt but with compassion."

The 42-year-old representative is in his eighth term in office. He is the youngest of three children of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Massachusetts.


Filed under: 2010 • Patrick Kennedy • Rhode Island
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    I love how CNN focuses on retiring Democrats but pays very little attention to the almost triple number of retiring Republicans.

    Faux News Too strikes again.

    February 12, 2010 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  2. GI Joe

    16 years is enough - uh - what does that bring to mind? TERM LIMITS NOW

    February 12, 2010 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  3. D.U.T.C.H.

    I don't know what direction your life is taking you Mr. Kennedy, but keep fighting for the people. Then come back and take your dad's seat back.

    February 12, 2010 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  4. GI Joe

    We also need age limits – these 70 and 80 and 90 year olds should not be running the country.

    Term Limits and Max. Age - that would clean out a lot of the power-hungry people that worry only about themselves and their party – no more lifers.

    February 12, 2010 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  5. ALPHABAMBI

    The Kennedys pride themselves on not being quitters. So why is Patches quitting? The writing is on the wall. He can't win. He's never had a real job in his life so his future is going to be quite an adjustment. Maybe he can work as a night manager at a Bed and Breakfast in Watch Hill.

    February 12, 2010 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  6. Jerry

    He knows the fantasy is over, if he ran he would be dead meat.

    February 12, 2010 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  7. Scott, Tucson

    Here's another one who knows how the wind is blowing in 2010 and 2012. I wonder when will obama announce that he's not running for a second term? Probably after the November elections when he sees a lot of new faces in Congress who are not Democrats.

    February 12, 2010 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  8. mac from pa

    four days of government shut down and a kennedy leaving another office
    things are looking up

    February 12, 2010 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  9. A.B.

    Aside from the facts of his substance abuse, I wonder if there are any other skeletons in his closet? This announcement is rather abrupt. Prehaps Patrick Kennedy cannot raise enough money to continue as a politician–That may be another reason for his sudden retirement.

    February 12, 2010 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  10. TiredofDem

    Watching the Democrats reminds me of Duane on the Carol Burnett show falling down the stairs in slow motion. The fleeing Democrats don't want to be around when everything caves in. I guess Hope and Change doesn't feel comfortable to them.

    February 12, 2010 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  11. reggie

    He was destined to be defeated anyway. Why would he want his time and money???

    February 12, 2010 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  12. Gary

    He really needs to focus on his alcohol problem. He can't be an effective representative until he fixes his problem. It surprises me that he was re-elected after yet another DUI. I think that this situation signals a problem in our political system that there wasn't another Democrat or Republican who would easily beat him in an election. We need to stop voting our party line and voting based on name recognition and we need to figure out who can represent our best interests effectively. I hope that he gets the help that he needs.

    February 12, 2010 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  13. buckeye

    This is a sad day for America, the first time in some 50 years that a member of the Kennedy family is not in high public office. Camelot died with JFK's murder/RFK's murder and the possibility of its resurrection is now over and gone. An American tragedy.

    February 12, 2010 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  14. Paula From Canada

    God Bless you Patrick..you have had a hard go with things.. I am so glad you will be a warrior and fight for those with autism, my eight year old battles with it, and PTSD my soldier son has it, along with other mental illness.. you are a trooper.. thanks again.. fight on in your Dad's spirit.

    February 12, 2010 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  15. Brian

    Let's we the people send his colleagues on both sides of the isle home with him. In the next three elections we can totally reshape our collective future. Stop voting for parties, vote for people. Vote independent.

    February 12, 2010 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  16. SCOTO

    I think more of the Kennedys should go get jobs other than "public service". I'm not in favor of the political dynasties that seem to be so popular in this country.

    February 12, 2010 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  17. Richard Komi

    After the death of his father I am sure patrick has a lot on his plate and he needs to step out of the public glare to attend to emotional toll that his father's demise has taken on him and the entire family. I salute him and the entire Kennedy family.

    February 12, 2010 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  18. All the news that is fit to omit

    Another gutless liberal who sees the writing on the wall, I HOPE he comes to Massachusetts and tries to reclaim his drunken Fathers seat, I would LOVE to beat him.

    Patches, YOU ARE THE JOKE and Scott Brown sends his love coward.

    I hate this POS, and he deserves the litany of TRUTHFUL postings that will hammer this dumber than Biden JOKE.

    If his name was Patches Kineavy HE NEVER WOULD HAVE BEEN ELECTED BY THE CAMELOT NITWITS.

    February 12, 2010 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  19. Jeff of Peoria

    He was going to get kicked out anyway. A lot of Dems are going down next fall.

    February 12, 2010 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  20. wake up

    When all the left wing elitist liberals like the Kennedy's go away, America will be better. JFK and RFK were leaders....Ted, family and new generation are odd looking imbreaders.

    February 12, 2010 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  21. TCM

    boy that's a no brainer...."I'm not running for re-election...I don't want my ass kicked like Coakley..."

    February 12, 2010 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  22. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    They are quitting left and right (no Pun intended). More better follow their lead because come fall the voters will retire them all, no matter what party they belong to.
    Vote Congress out, “you are fired” if they are in. Vote them out this fall no matter what party they belong to, and in the next election and every election going forward until they become the servants of the people once more.

    February 12, 2010 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  23. joe m

    not having a kennedy in the politics isn't exactly an awful thing. for a country that was born rejecting the idea of a monarcy, we've become so comfortable with these political dynasties. let him continue to try make a difference, but now as a private citizen.

    February 12, 2010 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  24. alphonso

    he's leaving 4 the right reason.he wasnt n any trouble of losing his seat

    February 12, 2010 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  25. Dwatson

    The people of Rhode Island are relieved!

    February 12, 2010 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
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