Patrick Kennedy will not run for re-election 

Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., is not running for re-election, a Democratic official confirmed to the Examiner Thursday.

Kennedy, 42, plans to announce the news to constituents in a television spot set to air this weekend in his district, which he has represented in Congress since 1995.

No word yet on what prompted the decision. Political analysts viewed Kennedy's seat as relatively safe for Democrats, although a recent but small survey found that only 35 percent respondents would vote to give him another term and Democratic strategists warned he would have to campaign much harder than in past races to keep his seat.

Kennedy has suffered from addiction problems and mental health issues and has had two stints in rehab in recent years.

His focus in Congress turned to mental health care reform after he crashed his car on Capitol Hill in 2006 while under the influence of prescription drugs.

His departure will leave Congress without a Kennedy for the first time since 1962.

 

 

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