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The Corner

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Bye, Bye Barney?



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Multiple outlets are reporting that Rep. Barney Frank (D., Mass.) will not seek re-election in 2012. Good news for Sean Bielat, his GOP challenger last time around. I profiled that race, which at the time looked much tighter than it ended up being. But Bielat still has an impeccable resume, an indefatigable campaigning spirit, and vastly improved name recognition.

Will he run? Bielat won’t say, though he notes that Frank’s redrawn 4th Congressional District is “interesting.” Interesting indeed — the newly drawn 4th drops the coastal New Bedford area, which Frank has larded with pork projects for years, and picks up outer-ring suburbs. Jim rightly notes that the new map is actually slightly more Democratic, by the numbers. But in Massachusetts there are many flavors of Democratic district, and I wonder if this one might not be more competitive.



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