February 12th, 2010
09:43 AM ET
10 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. Kate

    I hate to see him go. The Kennedy family has done so much for mankind. I am sure he will continue to work for people in some manner. He exemplifies along with his father what a true representative of government should be....of the people, by the people, and FOR the people. He will be missed along with his father.

    February 12, 2010 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  2. George

    He came, he saw, and he ran ... away.

    February 12, 2010 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  3. proud conservative

    Camelot is going down. Kennedy knows if his father's seat couldn't be saved neither can his.

    February 12, 2010 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  4. Fed Up

    Another Dem bites the dust. They're dropping like flies.

    February 12, 2010 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  5. ed

    Somebody sees the writing on the wall.

    February 12, 2010 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  6. Sniffit

    the curse would eventually get him too

    smart move

    enough with the kennedy garbage............change includes the kennedy nightmare being done and gone

    February 12, 2010 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  7. Alfalfa

    I wasn't aware Patrick lived in Rhode Island, I'm sure it was just an open seat close to home. There may actually be hope for RI now....

    February 12, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  8. JeDien

    Don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya

    February 12, 2010 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  9. Dar

    Yeah, another seat for the good guys.

    2010/2012 REAL Change is coming

    February 12, 2010 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  10. Obama Victim

    more dems jumping off the Titanic..........

    February 12, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  11. Southern Boy

    Smart move.

    February 12, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  12. jj

    Watch the corporate media spin on this. "The Democrats are in danger of losing another seat to the Republicans!" Yet if this was a GOP seat being vacated, we won't hear "The Repubs are in danger of losing this seat to the Dems!"

    February 12, 2010 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  13. J.P.

    You know the political winds are blowing badly for Democrats when a Kennedy can't even win in liberal Rhode Island.

    2010 is shaping up to be an electoral bloodbath, the size and scope of which I don't think anyone can yet even comprehend. Expect a liberal loss of 80 seats in the house and likely 11 in the Senate, at a minimum.

    Oh, and don't get comfortable RINO republicans... you're going to be FIRST on the chopping block this primary season.

    February 12, 2010 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  14. Colin, RI

    He's definitely had his share of personal problems, but it seems he's turned his life around for the better. Like the rest of the Kennedys, he's done many good things politically and has worked hard for his constituents.

    Having said that, I respect his decision to step down after serving eight terms. He would most likely be easily elected to a ninth, but now may be a good time to have a new face representing us here.

    I'm positive many idiots will post how he's deserting a sinking ship and junk like that, but will keep quiet when a Republican does the same thing. But thankfully there are many who realize that ALL of Congress needs to turn a new leaf and old faces across the board should do what's best for the people and step down.

    Thank you Rep. Kennedy for your service to this state. We look forward to replacing you with someone who will serve this state as honorably as you have.

    February 12, 2010 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  15. SocialismBad

    You KNOW it is REAL BAD for the Democrats when even a Kennedy is hanging it up instead of running for re-election!

    Hurry November!!!

    February 12, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  16. Joanne

    Kennedy knows he will be defeated....besides just being a Democrats (which means defeat this yr) he is known for DWIs, driving into brick walls etc. He just might be a kook....good riddens.

    February 12, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  17. A True Centrist

    Not surprising coming from a Kennedy – his approval ratings tank below 40% and he quits. When the going gets tough...

    On a positive note, hopefully he can get his life together. It wasn't just a slip-up that he called Martha Coakley "Marsha" four times during an interview at her rally. He was not sober and I hope people can get him the help he needs.

    February 12, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  18. Theresa Manning

    Sorry to see you go, but I know you will always be doing some good.
    Delighted to read you will be doing something about the Autism
    epidemic we have in this country, especially since there appears to be no help for Parents that have children with the problem. I see my
    Grandson every week, 10 years old can not talk, was perfect-ally fine
    until he had all those vaccination shots. His parents can not afford
    $70, 000 or $80,000 a year for help.
    Good Luck to You,
    Theresa Manning-Cleveland Ohio

    February 12, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  19. Fair is Fair

    "Patches" Kennedy... why not just come out and tell the truth?

    The fact is that you would have LOST (to Buddy Cianci, no less) and by doing so you would have embarrased the Kennedy name.

    Go home, "Patches".

    February 12, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  20. mike

    Do you think some responsible members of Congress are simply tired of watching dysfunctional and nonproductive behavior there? The grassroot movement in this country was to bring change for the good of the nation but Congress and lobbists have done everything in their power to block the change that Americans voted for in 2008. Yes, I'm sure that Patrick is grieving the loss of his father but perhaps his statement is more telling. Talking about his father he said, "From the countless lives he lifted, to the American promise he helped shape, my father taught me that politics at its very core was about serving others." The good ones like Patrick Kennedy and Vic Snyder have had enough of trying to work with non problem solvers and obstructionists! I wish them both well in whatever they choose to do after their service.

    February 12, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  21. jfs Memhis, Tn

    Hopefully he will run against Brown in Mass. for his dad's old seat. It is less than three years and if Brown performs as his GOP buddies(that would be doning NOTHING and say "NO" TO everything) it should be a pretty easy win.

    February 12, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  22. meg

    The Kennedy dynasty is interwoven wtih American history.
    Thanks for your family's contribution.
    God Bless.

    February 12, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  23. Rose

    The Kennedy family including Patrick, have been exemplary public servants and I hope Mr. Kennedy finds a way to get through his grief.

    February 12, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  24. Get it right

    It is awesome to see all these career politicians getting out of the game. We need new blood in there, new ideas, and much less corruption. Hopefully more will retire (on both sides).

    February 12, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  25. Alan

    Although I disagree with him on just about every political issue, I am glad that he is seeking a normal life.

    Losing ones father is not easy. I hope he can get his life together and be happy.

    February 12, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
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