If you were a Dennis Kucinich supporter during the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections, boy, do I have some good news for you.
On Monday, the former Democratic Congressman filed a designation of treasurer form to run for governor in Ohio in 2018. The sitting Gov. John Kasich, who has an approval rating of 55 percent, can't run for re-election in 2018 after serving for two consecutive four-year terms. However, Kasich could run again in 2022 if he chooses, but if we're being real, the Ohio Republican probably has his sights set on another presidential run. So, Kucinich has a clear path to the governorship and picking his spots wisely. But, he first faces a crowded field in the Democratic primary featuring the likes of former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray and Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O'Neill.
Let's take a trip down memory lane and highlight three interesting facts about Kucinich as he runs for governor of Ohio.
1) "The Boy Mayor of Cleveland" vs. the Mafia
In 1977, Kucinich won the Cleveland mayoral election and became the youngest serving mayor of the city at the age of 31. He was so young for the position he was dubbed "The Boy Mayor of Cleveland."
How many politicians do you know who were personally targeted by the mafia? Kucinich has earned his street cred when he refused to sell the publicly owned electric utility, Muni Light. Selling the utility meant a boatload of cash for the mafia, and Kucinich stood in the way of that.
The mafia put out a hit on Kucinich and intended to pay a hitman by the name of "The Old Man" $25,000 for killing Kucinich. "The Old Man" was going to whack Kucinich at the Columbus Day parade, but then the mayor was hospitalized with a ruptured stomach ulcer. Then, "The Old Man" was going to take out Kucinich at a diner. But the plot fell apart after Cleveland Trust called in their debts in retaliation over Kucinich's refusal to sell Muni Light, which caused the city to default and Kucinich's approval rating to plummet.
The mafia called off the hit when they realized that Kucinich wouldn't win re-election and waited to see if the next mayor would be more amenable to their interests.
2) Presidential runs
It's not interesting, in itself, that Kucinich ran for president twice in 2004 and 2008. However, it's what Kucinich did to set himself apart that really stood out.
In 2008, Kucinich proposed creating a cabinet-level Department of Peace that would devote its efforts to peace-building initiatives both domestically and abroad with other countries. Kucinich, as a member of the House of Representatives, has proposed legislation to create a Department of Peace since two months before the September 11th terrorist attacks in 2001.
And just like any politician, Kucinich has been known to flip-flop.
Before running for president, Kucinich was pro-life, but became pro-choice once he sought the Democratic nomination for president. He voted for the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, but voted against the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and has been anti-war ever since.
3) O-H-I-NO More Meat
Dennis Kucinich and his wife, Elizabeth, who's a professor at Coventry University in the UK as well as involved in a number of non-profits, are both vegans. In fact, the Kucinich's made a push as recently reported in 2012 to make Washington D.C. go vegan. If they can just ensure that all olive pits are taken out of vegetarian sandwiches, I'm sure that would have been enough considering the fact that Kucinich sued a U.S. House of Representatives cafeteria for damaging his teeth on one.
If Kucinich is elected governor of Ohio, he would become the first vegan governor of the United States. Unless, of course, a guy like Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., beats him to the punch. In terms of pushing their values onto the rest of the public, the Kuciniches might try to turn Ohio vegan ... or make them do cross-fit. Either way, if Kucinich is elected governor, you're all going to hear about their new diet and workout regimen.
Siraj Hashmi is a commentary video editor and writer for the Washington Examiner.