Congressman Barney Frank has decided to call it quits as a Congressman after serving in Congress since 1981. In a press conference held earlier today, Franks cited a number of reasons in a press conference, including redistricting and a wish to complete his doctoral degree from Harvard University.
Frank has made his mark on the Congress for a number of reasons, including the fact he is considered one of the House’s smartest members.
Washington (CNN) — U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, a prominent 16-term liberal Democrat from Massachusetts and arch-enemy of political conservatives nationwide, will announce Monday he does not intend to seek re-election in 2012, according to a statement from his office.
Frank, 71, will hold a news conference in his district to discuss the decision at 1 p.m. ET.
The reasons for Frank’s largely unexpected decision to retire from Congress were not immediately clear, though some analysts speculated they may be tied to changed boundaries for his 4th Congressional District after Massachusetts’ recent redistricting process.
Redistricting was cited by Franks as one of the reasons for leaving now. Franks had a tough reelection contest in 2010 and now with a district a little more Republican, he has decided to let it go now.
According to the Boston Globe, redistricting was a factor in Frank’s decision. He is gaining some more conservative towns while losing New Bedford, a blue-collar Democratic stronghold.
Franks will be remembered for admitting in 1987 that he is gay, which until then was not the rule in Congress. Frank was also reprimanded the congressman because his live-in boyfriend and driver was an escort running a prostitution ring out of the congressman’s home. Despite this incident, Frank always swept easily to victory.
He will also be remembered for being the name sponsor of the Dodd-Frank Finance Reform Bill, which Republicans have used as an issue this year.
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