A Democratic official says Rep. Patrick Kennedy has decided not to seek re-election for his seat representing Rhode Island in the U.S. Congress.
The official spoke to The Associated Press only on the condition that his name not be used because he was not authorized to speak ahead of the official announcement. ...
Patrick Kennedy has been in and out of treatment for substance abuse since crashing his car outside the U.S Capitol in 2006. Still, he has been comfortably re-elected twice since then, after making mental health care his signature issue in Washington.
Kennedy sought treatment as recently as the middle of last year, so his recurring problems may be a reason for his decision to depart. It's also worth noting that a recent poll pegged his re-elects at a not-so-hot 35-28. Republican state Rep. John Loughlin had already announced a challenge to Kennedy; he has $110K in the bank. Presumably, many names will line up on the Dem side, as this D+13 district gave 65% of its vote to Barack Obama and 62% to John Kerry.