via Abby Goodnough, The New York Times
Representative Barney Frank, the liberal firebrand who has served in the House of Representatives for 30 years, has decided not to seek re-election in 2012.
Mr. Frank, 71, will hold a news conference at 1 p.m. in Newton, Mass., to discuss the decision, according to his office.
Mr. Frank faced his most competitive re-election contest in decades last year, when Sean Bielat, a Republican and former Marine, put him on the defensive. But Mr. Frank still won a 16th term by about 10 percentage points.
His Fourth District falls mostly in southern Massachusetts but also includes the famously liberal Boston suburbs of Newton and Brookline. Under a new redistricting plan that Gov. Deval Patrick, a fellow Democrat, signed into law last week, Mr. Frank’s district would have lost heavily Democratic New Bedford and gained some more conservative towns.
In February, Mr. Frank announced that he would seek re-election in 2012.
Mr. Frank served as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee until Republicans won control of the chamber this year; he remains the ranking Democrat. He co-wrote the Dodd-Frank law overhauling financial regulation; the other author, Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut, left the Senate last year.
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