Massachusetts Democrat Frank easily re-elected

BOSTON Wed Nov 3, 2010 6:16am EDT

U.S. Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) holds a news conference on issues before the House Financial Services Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, November 3, 2009. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) holds a news conference on issues before the House Financial Services Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, November 3, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

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BOSTON (Reuters) - Democratic Representative Barney Frank, one of the most liberal U.S. lawmakers and co-author of the new controversial financial regulation law, easily won re-election on Tuesday after a bitter campaign.

Frank, 70, has been in the House of Representatives for three decades. He has chaired the powerful House Financial Services Committee since 2007, a post he will lose if Republicans win control of the House.

He pushed through the sweeping law this year to crack down on mortgage and credit card abuses and set up an independent consumer protection bureau after the financial crisis.

Claiming victory, Frank slammed the ugly nature of the 2010 election season and "anonymous, smear tactic money" that has flowed freely in many electoral races.

"The campaigns run by most Republicans were beneath the dignity of a democracy and I'm delighted that they were repudiated," he said.

Frank beat Republican Sean Bielat, 35, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and business consultant, who had pounded Frank about billions of dollars in federal aid given to government sponsored mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

With 87 percent of precincts reporting, Frank was polling 57 percent of votes to Bielat's 40 percent, a wider margin of victory than recent polls had suggested.

In the weeks before the election, money from conservative backers around the country had poured into the effort to oust the powerful, openly gay Democrat, to whom Republicans assigned blame for the years-long U.S. housing market crisis.

In response, Frank borrowed $200,000 from his retirement account to prop up his campaign spending.

Frank's district stretches from the affluent Boston suburbs of Newton and Wellesley to economically depressed cities of Fall River and New Bedford in southeastern Massachusetts.

Frank attributed anti-incumbent sentiment in the election to the weak economy and unemployment that has remained stubbornly high since the U.S. recession officially ended in 2009.

"There was an unhappiness on the part of many voters, and they are right to be unhappy," Frank said. Democrats "think we have a better way to make things better."

(Reporting by Ros Krasny and Jeremy Pelofsky; Editing by Christopher Wilson)

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Comments (16)
red_buttocks wrote:
The architect of the Depression of ‘08 along with C. Dodd and J. Carter.

Nov 02, 2010 10:12pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
pegw77 wrote:
How can the people there let this man get elected again. He is the reason for the financial breakdown of Fannie and Freddie.
Does no one read the news or listen to the news up there. I cannot believe he was elected without help from the Unions or Acorn. I guess Kerry called them in because he is just as big of a crook as Franks, Waters and Gore. Somebody in the voting polls better do a check on the votes and make sure all those that voted are still alive or are even registered.

Nov 02, 2010 10:58pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
bobSmith wrote:
And all the homophobes are sooo mad! Hey, at least he’s not black too!

Nov 02, 2010 11:28pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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