Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., one of the primary authors of financial services reform legislation passed by Congress last year, said today he would not return to the next Congress in 2013.
He will have served 32 years in Congress.
Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., is next in line to succeed Frank as ranking minority member of the committee. However, Waters is under scrutiny by the House Ethics Committee for her role in helping a troubled bank where her husband owns stock.
In July, the ethics panel turned the case over to an outside counsel, whose job it is to determine whether the panel is too partisan to deal with the issue objectively.
Next in line is Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y.
Potential Democratic contenders for Frank’s seat include Setti Warren, the mayor of Newton, and Alan Khazei, who lives in Brooklyn, and co-founded a national service program. Both men dropped out of the Democratic race for the Senate in the fall after Elizabeth Warren, former head of the Congressional Oversight Panel and a Harvard professor and consumer advocate, joined the race.
Republican contenders include Elizabeth Childs, Republican member of the Brookline School Committee, and State Rep. Dan Winslow.
Frank, 71, had said in February that he would run for re-election, but said he changed his mind after his district was changed to include several more conservative areas, including Milford, Attleboro and Hopkinton, and remove the white-collar stronghold of New Bedford.
“I was planning to run again and then the congressional redistricting came,” Frank said. “I know my own capacity and energy levels and it would have been a mistake … I could not have put the requisite effort in.”
Frank told reporters that he was too old to campaign in a new district and to represent hundreds of thousands of new constituents.
“I think I’d win,” he added, but “it would have been a tough race; I don’t like raising money.”
He said that he would continue to be active politically. “I‘m not retiring from advocacy of public policy,” he said
But, he added that, “I will be neither a lobbyist or a historian.” He said he would do “some combination of writing, teaching, and lecturing.”