Barney Frank won't seek reelection in 2012

Congressman Barney Frank will hold a news conference at 1 pm ET to announce that he will not seek re-election in 2012.

US Representative Barney Frank, the state’s highest-profile congressman and one of the nation’s leading liberal voices after being among its first openly gay elected officials, planned to announce today that he will not reelection next year.

A top adviser told the Globe that the new district in which Frank would have had to run next year was a major factor in his decision. While it retained his Newton stronghold, it was revised to encompass more conservative towns like Walpole while losing New Bedford, a blue-collar city where the Democrat had invested a lot of time and become a leading figure in the region’s fisheries debate.

Frank’s campaign manager last year said his withering 2010 re-election effort spurred the congressman to think seriously about retirement, even saying a few days after the election that it would be his last one.

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The White House provided this statement:

Statement by President Obama on Congressman Barney Frank’s Retirement

 This country has never had a Congressman like Barney Frank, and the House of Representatives will not be the same without him.  For over 30 years, Barney has been a fierce advocate for the people of Massachusetts and Americans everywhere who needed a voice.  He has worked tirelessly on behalf of families and businesses and helped make housing more affordable.  He has stood up for the rights of LGBT Americans and fought to end discrimination against them.  And it is only thanks to his leadership that we were able to pass the most sweeping financial reform in history designed to protect consumers and prevent the kind of excessive risk-taking that led to the financial crisis from ever happening again.  Barney’s passion and his quick wit will be missed in the halls of Congress, and Michelle and I join the people of the Bay State in thanking him for his years of service.

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