Massachusetts Representative Barney Frank announced today that he will not seek reelection. The announcement reversed his earlier decision to run for a 17th term.
The decision came shortly after the Massachusetts Legislature redrew congressional district lines. The state’s House members shrunk from 10 to nine because of comparatively slowly population growth show in the 2010 census.
Redistricting changed Democratic Frank’s historically liberal district. While he kept liberal Newton, he gained conservative suburbs west of Boston and lost New Bedford, a coastal city where Frank was considered the champion of the fishing industry.
Frank was first elected to the House in 1980. The 71-year-old politician was one of the first lawmakers to announce his homosexuality. This past term, he co-authored the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory reform bill, which enacted the stiffest restrictions on banks and Wall Street since the Great Depression.
J-Connection: Barney Frank was born Barnett Frank to a Jewish family in New Jersey.