Liberal titan Barney Frank announced today that he will not run for re-election to the House after 32 years representing his Massachusetts district.
Frank, the first openly gay member of Congress, will be 72 by the time his current term in Congress ends.
The high spot of his 16 terms was when he took over as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee in 2007, a position he held for four years before the Republicans regained control of the House this year. He is still the ranking Democrat on the committee.
Frank and former Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd were the architects of the financial reform bill that bears their names and is widely reviled in conservative circles.
Despite being on the far left of the Democratic Party, Frank, whose father spent a year in jail for refusing to testify in a mob-linked case, has always remained popular among his colleagues. In 2004, ’06, ’08 and ’10, the Washingtonian named him the “brainiest” member. He also won the title of “funniest” twice and “most eloquent,” and “workhorse” once each.
His district, which covers a large area southwest of Boston, is reliably Democratic ¬ in all the elections from 1984-2008 he never got less than 67 percent of the vote.
In the last election, Frank beat Republican Sean Bielat by 54-43 percent.
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