WASHINGTON — Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy (D-R.I.) ruled out a run for the Senate in 2006 on Wednesday, saying he could better serve his constituents by staying in the House and serving on the Appropriations Committee.
Kennedy has been in Boston caring for his mother, Joan Kennedy, who was hospitalized with a concussion and a broken shoulder after a passer-by found her lying in a street Tuesday.
Kennedy's mother, the former wife of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), was taken to Tufts New England Medical Center around 3 a.m. Tuesday.
In a statement, Kennedy did not cite family responsibilities as a reason for his decision, but he and his brother and sister recently took temporary guardianship of his mother to ensure that she received treatment for her alcoholism. Patrick Kennedy was seeking to become her permanent legal guardian.
"I am grateful for the support and encouragement I have received to run for the Senate," he said. "But over the past few days, I have determined that I can make the greatest difference in the lives of Rhode Island families by remaining on the Appropriations Committee in the House of Representatives and fighting for their priorities." The committee controls about a third of the federal budget.
Kennedy had been encouraged to run for the Senate against Republican incumbent Sen. Lincoln Chafee, after Rhode Island's other Democratic congressman, James R. Langevin, decided not to seek the seat.