Patrick Kennedy Won’t Seek Re-Election

Posted February 11, 2010 at 9:42pm

Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) has decided not to seek re-election in November, sources confirmed to Roll Call on Thursday night after the news was first reported by the Associated Press.

The Associated Press reported that Kennedy taped a message to be aired on TV in his home state Sunday night and in it he said his life is “taking a new direction.”

Kennedy, the son of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), was first elected to the House in 1994 and has had a headline-grabbing career during his tenure. Most notably, he entered a rehabilitation facility after a late-night car crash near the Capitol in 2006.

Rhode Island’s 1st district is strongly Democratic territory, and the party is not likely to have trouble holding the seat. Kennedy is the 13th House Democrat to announce plans to retire or run for other office this cycle.

Kennedy served as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during the 2000 election cycle, but that was his only leadership post. Due to his last name, he has been a valued fundraiser for House Democrats and the party in general.