February 12th, 2010
09:43 AM ET
12 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. Gale

    Bet he knows something the other Democrats haven't admitted yet. Bad times are coming for the Democrat Party! Thank you Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Reid, Mr. Edwards, and all the other spouse cheating, IRS cheating, and mainly, constituent ignoring Democrat incumbents. Don't slam the door on your way out!

    February 12, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  2. enough

    Good, the kennedys need to let someone with different views serve. They have been involed in this countrys politics long enough. Too long.

    February 12, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  3. seeyapatches

    the people of rhode island are glad to see you go!! go get A REAL JOB!! something you never had you carpetbagger!!!

    February 12, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  4. Gordon

    Perhaps Patrick will follow his grandfather's example and get a real job. Making a payroll will be a new experience for a Kennedy. Very happy for his sake and the people of USA that he has chosen a new path. I hope he leaves his personal demons behind.

    February 12, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  5. Deezy

    He should have stayed on to uphold the Democratic principles his late date had. Sad he has to leave. Great job Patrick and all the best with your future endeavors.

    February 12, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  6. Mark

    He would have lost the election, just trying to save face.

    February 12, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  7. Scott Kenan

    Patrick: Sorry you will be leaving office, but that's thrilling news about your new direction! Looks like you and I will be in the same business. Scott

    February 12, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  8. gary

    Boy, are the dimocrats jumping off a sinking ship, fast!

    February 12, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  9. Hammerer

    He got the message!

    February 12, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  10. d1120

    No real surprise...he was only in it for his dad.

    February 12, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  11. Wisconsonite - Vote for Consumer Protection Regulation of the Financial Industry

    I'm sure the Rabid Right will use this a one more opportunity to smear the Kennedys', the Democrats, and somehow President Obama. Too bad because I'm sure the people of Rhode Island ( at least a good portion of them) would rather NOT be hearing this news. I say, good luck Congressman and I know, in the spirit of your family legacy, you'll continue to work hard to help the middle class of America

    February 12, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  12. Bubble of Sanity

    "Having spent two decades in politics, my life is taking a new direction..."

    Does this mean that a Kennedy is actually getting a real job? Probably not.

    February 12, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |

    He should, and probably will run for the senate seat in Massachusetts in 2012.

    February 12, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  14. spencer blair

    Does this have anything to do with the Democrats doing away with open bar night?

    February 12, 2010 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  15. AncientRiver, New Mexico

    There was always a comfort to having Kennedies in office because you knew they fought the fight for the common man. This is very sad indeed. I suppose with his father passing, it is rather hard to be in Washington after all these years serving with him.

    February 12, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  16. Dimslie

    A new direction? He's not going to be a druggie anymore? We're the only country on the planet with a "royal family" sporting IQ's in the 90 range.

    February 12, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  17. Sue

    Patrick Kennedy was NOT going to be reelected.

    The Boston Herald was running stories about Patrick Kennedy all last week. His DISAPPROVAL rating in Rhode Island was 63%.

    The citizens/voters of Rhode Island were NOT going to reelect him.

    Patrick Kennedy is not running for reelection, because he wants to save himself from the embarrassment of losing.

    February 12, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
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