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November 28. 2011 12:13PM

Barney Frank to retire ahead of redistricting in the Bay State

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic Representative Barney Frank, who helped to craft the landmark overhaul of financial regulations that bears his name, will not seek re-election in 2012, Democratic aides said on Monday.

Frank, one of the most outspoken liberals in Congress, will hold a 1 p.m. EST news conference to discuss the decision, aides said.

Frank, 71, has represented his Massachusetts district since 1981 and is known for his acerbic wit, as well as his detailed knowledge of banking and housing regulations.

He was one of the first openly gay politicians to serve at a national level.

Democrats expect to retain control of Frank's district as they try to win back control of the House of Representatives in the November 2012 elections.

With Democratic Senator Christopher Dodd, Frank led a comprehensive overhaul of Wall Street regulations following the 2007-2009 financial crisis. The Dodd-Frank Act, passed in 2010 with little Republican support, was one of the most ambitious legislative efforts of President Barack Obama's first term in office.

Fiercely resisted by Wall Street, Dodd-Frank could be a prominent issue in next year's congressional and presidential elections. Republican presidential candidates, as well as those in Congress, have vowed to repeal the law even as regulators are still putting it into effect.


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