The Boston Globe reports that the 16-term Democrat, the ranking member of House Financial Services, will retire. He turned 71 this year; his district was going to be reshaped to include some more conservative towns. (The old district voted for Obama-Biden over McCain-Palin by a 28-point margin.)
We'll know more after Frank's 1 p.m. presser, but among the immediate effects of the decision:
- Frank's district could -- could! -- see a competitive race. In 2010 he defeated first-time candidate Sean Bielat by 10 points, after Bielat raised an astounding $2.5 million. But that had a lot to do with Bielat's ability to raise money for an anti-Frank campaign.
- If Democrats take the House in 2012, the person next in line to run the Financial Services committee is Maxine Waters. You'll hear that in an ad or two.