Kucinich makes first public appearance since filing paperwork to run for governor

MASSILLON, Ohio -- Former U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich made his first public appearance Tuesday since filing paperwork with the Ohio Secretary of State declaring his candidacy for Ohio governor.

Kucinich joined nurses and community leaders outside Affinity Medical Center in Massillon as they spoke out on the possible closure of the hospital.

“Today in Massillon marks an opportunity for the people to regain their power over healthcare,” Kucinich said. “This is an opportunity to stand up and speak out. This is a fight for the health of the community, one that is about patients and doctors and nurses who have come together.”

The former Cleveland Mayor was asked about running for governor of Ohio, but he declined to comment. He said instead he wanted to focus on the medical center.

The 71-year-old lost his congressional seat in 2012. He also had two unsuccessful bids for president in 2004 and 2008.

Trying to save hospitals is something Kucinich does have on his resume. He fought to save St. Michael Hospital, which stayed open three more years and to save a Richmond Heights hospital that still remains open today. He most recently supported the failed bid to try and save Lakewood Hospital.

On Tuesday he threw his support behind saving Affinity Medical Center in a very confident campaign-style speech.

“This hospital will not close,” Kucinich shouted to the crowd. “This community in Massillon will fight back and demonstrate to the whole United States of America. There marks a spot here in Ohio, here in city of Massillon where they fought back and they won.”

Kucinich is expected to formally announce his campaign next week. He will run against six other democrats for the nomination.