Rep. Barney Frank plans to run for reelection next year, he has told associates, quelling speculation that the 16-term Massachusetts Democrat would step down or run for the Senate.
Publicly mum about his 2012 intentions since his midterm victory over a GOP candidate who proved more troublesome than anticipated, Frank has privately given firmly worded assurances when asked in recent days, sources told National Journal.
Bay State political insiders had questioned whether Frank, discouraged with losing the power of his chairmanship of the House Financial Services Committee after the midterms, would opt for another role. That move would have alleviated some of the pressure on the 10-member House delegation, because the state will lose a seat under the census figures released last month.
Frank, 70, has also been mentioned as a prospective challenger to GOP Sen. Scott Brown in two years. The prospect of the fiery and often glib Frank sparring with the state’s most popular politician is a dream match-up for some Democrats. The district Frank has represented since 1981 has stretched amorphously through redistricting, meaning Frank has already represented large swaths of the state.
Tested last year by relatively unknown Republican Sean Bielat, Frank scored a double-digit victory that prompted questions about whether the Newton Democrat would consider his reelection and passage of the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory law as career capstones, loath to stick around a Congress with his reduced status.
“He has not made any formal announcement yet,” Frank spokesman Harry Gural said Friday.
Gural said Frank would likely publicize his intentions “within a month or so.”
In a Roadtrip Nation interview reportedly taped in July 2009 that aired this week, Frank described himself as "old and tired" and said, "[I]t’d be nice to have some free time, not have to read a lot of stuff I don’t care about."