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In case there was any doubt, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) announced that he will seek a 17th term in 2012.
“I will be running for re-election to the House of Representatives in 2012,” the liberal lightning rod said in a statement released Thursday morning.
“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.”
The Congressman's announcement means that his name can be removed from speculation about which Democrats might toss their hat in the ring to challenge Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) in 2012.
Frank, of course, lost his high-profile chairmanship on the House Financial Services Committee as part of the GOP House takeover. But the 70-year-old lawmaker outlined a series of priorities he will pursue in the coming years, such as defending of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which he helped shape last year in his previous role. He will also push to “reduce significantly America’s swollen, unnecessary, worldwide military footprint — this is the only way to reconcile the need for us to spend wisely, to promote our economy and to accomplish substantial deficit reduction.”
Frank became a top target of the tea party movement in 2010. He ultimately carried Massachusetts’ 4th district by 10 points but spent $4.2 million to do so and even arranged for President Bill Clinton to headline a campaign rally on his behalf.
There was speculation that Frank’s district could be altered dramatically during redistricting — due to reapportionment Massachusetts will lose one of its 10 seats before the next election — but there’s little doubt that the Congressman, having represented the heavily Democratic Bay State since 1980, will be a strong favorite in 2012 regardless of the shape of his district.