Political dynasties shift in election-year tremor

February 12, 2010

After the November election, there will not be a Kennedy in Congress for the first time in almost half a century because Representative Patrick Kennedy, the son of the late Senator Edward Kennedy, has decided to retire from his Rhode Island seat.

“My life is taking a new direction and I will not be a candidate for re-election this year,” Patrick Kennedy said in a video announcing his decision nearly six months after his father, the “Liberal Lion” of the Senate, died.

Of course there is still time for another Kennedy to step forward and declare intentions to run for office, but we haven’t heard any whispers.

On the other hand, Ben Quayle, 33, the son of former vice president Dan Quayle, has thrown the gauntlet down and plans to run for the Arizona congressional seat of retiring Republican John Shadegg.

“The big news is my son, Ben Quayle, today filed his papers for congressman of the third Congressional district here in Arizona,”  Dan Quayle announced on Fox News. “It’s the next generation of leadership. The Republican Party’s got to move on.”

KENNEDY/And while no one from the Bush family tree has announced running for office at the moment, there are a couple of  branches being watched as possible contenders for national election down the road.

Half of the Cuban-born Diaz-Balart family representation in Congress has decided not to run again. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, a Republican, said he would not seek re-election to his Florida seat. He and brother Mario Diaz-Balart, also a Republican congressman from Florida, have supported taking a political hardline against Cuba.

Which political family would you like to see have a bigger role in national politics?

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Photo credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder (President Obama and former presidents Bush and Clinton attend funeral services for Senator Kennedy)

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