America's Kennedy dynasty set to end

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America's fabled Kennedy dynasty is set to come to an end after the son of the late Senator Edward Kennedy said he would not run for re-election to Congress in November.

His decision means that Washington will soon to be left without a member of the Kennedy clan holding political office for the first time since 1947.

Representative Patrick Kennedy, 42, of Rhode Island, who has battled with drugs and alcohol abuse, is to announce on Sunday that his life is "taking a new direction" and indicated that the death of his father in August was a factor in his decision.

The announcement is another blow to President Barack Obama, coming a month after the stunning upset in Massachusetts when Scott Brown, a Republican, won the Senate seat that Edward Kennedy had held since 1962.

Mark Weiner, a major Democratic fund-raiser in Rhode Island and one of Mr Kennedy's leading financial backers, said that the Senator's death had taken an enormous toll on his son.

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