Published February 3, 2011
Democratic Rep. Barney Frank says he will run for a 17th term in 2012.
There had been speculation Frank might retire, since Massachusetts is set to lose a House seat in redistricting.
Frank, 70, said he knows it’s early to announce his plans, but he keeps getting asked:
While I would have preferred to put off a discussion about the next election until a later date, I have been asked on a number of occasions about my plans. In addition, I have become convinced that making my decision to run for re-election known is important for maximizing the impact I can have on the range of issues to which I am committed. These issues require a time commitment longer than the next two years.
Frank said his top two priorities are:
- “to defend the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act”
- “to reduce significantly America’s swollen, unnecessary, worldwide military footprint”
In a statement, Frank also laid out other priorities:
While these two issues are central to our ability to return to a full-employment economy while protecting our quality of life, there are other national and regional issues on which I will be working as well — protecting the fishing industry in Massachusetts from arbitrary, unjust and unfair actions; fighting for full legal equality for all citizens; providing for the housing needs of low-income people, not by pushing them unwisely and unsustainably into homeownership, but rather by building affordable rental housing; and helping local communities provide a level of service adequate to the needs of their residents.
Frank faced a strong 2010 challenger in Republican Sean Bielat, but he easily won re-election. Frank has represented the 4th Congressional District since 1980.
Time to create the Election 2012 tag…
Update: Bielat has responded in a statement of his own:
In his statement, Congressman Frank states that his goals require “a time commitment longer than two years.” It is unclear why the previous 32 years haven’t been sufficient to achieve his goals, but nonetheless, Congressman Frank’s justifications for remaining in office show why he shouldn’t.
Bielat, an ex-Marine, focuses his rather academic critique on Frank’s call for reducing wasteful military spending: “With unrest rampant around the globe, it is dangerous to entrust our national security to those with superficial knowledge of security issues and strong, parochial ideologies.”
If Frank just announced he is running for re-election, did Bielat just announce he is re-running for election?
Update, 2/4: For the record, Bielat’s spokeswoman said he has not determined whether to run again. “Let’s see what redistricting holds,” she said.