NEWTON, Mass. (The Blaze/AP) — Democratic Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts says he does not intend to seek re-election in 2012.
Frank spoke Monday at a news conference in his hometown of Newton
Frank said he originally intended to run for one more term, but that his decision was partially due to the fact that the state’s new redistricting map will include many people he has never represented before.
Frank said he has had a “busy and stressful” four years dealing with financial reform after the recession.
He says he plans to write and stay involved in public policy decisions.
Rep. Barney Frank will announce later today he will not seek a 17th term in Congress next year, his office said in a statement this morning. Frank will make his announcement at the Newton City Hall this afternoon.
The Massachusetts Democrat, first elected in 1980, serves as the ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee. During a four-year stint as chairman of the panel, he helped shepherd the Dodd-Frank overhaul of the nation’s financial regulations.
He won a closer-than-expected re-election bid in 2010, taking 53 percent of the vote, his lowest total since first winning his Newton- and Tauton-based district in 1980.
Frank, 71 and a lifelong liberal, won a House seat in 1980 was one of the first lawmakers to announce that he is gay.
Sixteen other Democrats have announced plans not to seek new House terms in 2012, compared with six Republicans.
Over the years, Frank consistently came down on the liberal side of public issues, opposing the war in Iraq and bills to cover its expenses.
More than two decades ago, Frank was reprimanded by the House for using his congressional status on behalf of a male prostitute whom he had employed as a personal aide, including seeking dismissal of 33 parking tickets.
“I should have known better. I do now, but it’s a little too late,” Frank said at the time.
National Review’s Jonah Goldberg notes the news means Maxine Watters, who has been investigated for ethics violations during the housing crisis, would become the ranking Democrat on the banking committee.
This is a breaking story. Updates will be added.
You can view his full announcement below: