[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/24/art.kucinich.ap.jpg caption="Kucinich will formally drop out of the presidential race Friday."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Rep. Dennis Kucinich will announce he is abandoning his long shot bid for the White House in a news conference Friday, his campaign confirms to CNN.
In an interview with the Cleveland Plain-Dealer earlier Thursday, the Ohio Democrat said he plans on “transitioning out of the Democratic Presidential primary race" to focus on a "new direction."
His spokesman tells CNN the former presidential candidate is now gearing up for his congressional re-election campaign. Kucinich faces four candidates in a Democratic primary for his seat on March 4, and has faced criticism for devoting much of his attention to running for president.
In his interview with the Plain-Dealer, Kucinich said he will give a much lengthier statement Friday.
This was Kucinich's second bid for the White House - he first ran in 2004. The latest CNN Poll showed him drawing 3 percent of support among registered Democrats nationally.
- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney