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  Kucinich's Campaign Leaves Hometown Voters Wondering
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Last Edited...  Mar 07, 2004 12:16pm
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MediaNewspaper - New York Times
News DateTuesday, March 2, 2004 06:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionCLEVELAND, Feb. 29 On the presidential campaign trail, Representative Dennis J. Kucinich boasts that he is "Cleveland's favorite son." But some who live in his district wonder whether this son has distanced himself too much from the hometown voters who have sent him to Congress four times.

Mr. Kucinich, a former mayor, remains popular and is respected here for fighting the bread-and-butter fights of a congressman: defending steel jobs, rescuing public hospitals and rerouting train traffic. His district, the 10th, which stretches from west Cleveland into its suburbs, includes $800,000 lakefront homes and urban neighborhoods showing their age. The variety of its religious institutions Latvian Lutheran churches, Arab Baptist congregations and grand mosques testifies to the presence of immigrant families, old and new. And the Ford engine plant provides a clue to the strength of organized labor, which keeps the area solidly Democratic.

While the district is conservative on cultural issues, Mr. Kucinich is anything but, talking on the campaign trail about setting up a Department of Peace and legalizing marijuana and same-sex marriage.

"He has done some good locally, but I think he's gone bananas," said Mary V. Ridill, 79 and a resident of the western suburb of Lakewood who said she thought she had voted for Mr. Kucinich in the past.

Others share the view that Mr. Kucinich's continuing candidacy is embarrassing a city that has historically worried about its image.
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