Re-match likely in Massachusetts for 2012

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) announced Thursday that he will be a candidate for re-election in 2012.

The announcement is unusual for its timing. It is more routine for even the most veteran elected officials to wait until just before time to announce their re-election campaign to signal their intentions to run for office again.

Frank issued a written statement Thursday morning, saying that, while he would have “preferred to put off a discussion about the next election until a later date,” he had been asked about his plans “on a number of occasions.”

“In addition,” said the statement, “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.”

But certainly there was a question of whether Frank, who will be 72 in 2012, would run. In addition to his age, Frank faced his toughest re-election campaign ever in 2010 from newcomer Republican Sean Bielat. Massachusetts also lost a Congressional seat because of population changes recorded in the 2010 Census.

“I did have some concerns about my health,” Frank told the New England Cable Channel, in an interview this week. “I wanted to have a thorough check up.” Frank said he had a quintuple bypass in 1999 ago, meaning doctors had to bypass five coronary arteries. There was some anticipation, he noted, that he might have to have that surgery done again, but a recent physical indicates that is not in the near future.

“And my eyes have been bothering me. Turns out I have cataracts,” said Frank. “But they are easily correctable.”

A spokeswoman for Bielat said he has not yet made a decision concerning a rematch but that “the door’s open yet.”

Leave a Reply