Kucinich files to create presidential exploratory committee

WASHINGTON (AP) - Ohio Democrat Dennis Kucinich filed papers Wednesday with the Federal Election Commission to form a presidential exploratory committee, a spokesman from his office said.
Such committees are established by budding candidates mainly to raise money, finance travels around the country and help gauge voter support.
Kucinich, a four-term congressman who represents Cleveland,
plans to announce by June whether he has enough support and money for a full-fledged run for the White House.
He had planned to file the papers on Tuesday but was delayed because heavy snow closed government offices in Washington. The papers were express mailed late Tuesday, said spokesman Doug Gordon. The FEC confirmed that it received the papers.
Former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois also filed papers Wednesday to form an exploratory committee, putting eight Democrats in the running.
Kucinich, 56, is best known nationally as being Cleveland's
"boy mayor" in the 1970s. However, he has become a national voice for civil liberties and peace since the terrorist attacks and increased attention on Iraq.
He is less well known than other candidates and has a nearly empty campaign fund in a primary likely to cost $20 million to $30 million.
Kucinich (pictured, above) continued to campaign Wednesday in Iowa, whose caucuses in January mark the first major contest of the 2004 presidential primary season. He met with Democratic Party activists in Fairfield City, Iowa.
On Monday, Kucinich joined other presidential hopefuls -- Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, North Carolina Sen. John Edwards and Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman -- in speaking at an AFL-CIO forum.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)