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Philly Congressman Brady Won't Seek Another Term

bob_brady.jpg
Matt Rourke
/
AP

U.S. Rep. Bob Brady of Philadelphia will not seek another term in Congress, giving up the seat he's held for two decades, his office said Wednesday.

Brady revealed the news to reporters and Democratic Party ward leaders in Philadelphia, his hometown and the city where he has been the longtime Democratic Party leader.

Brady, 72, was facing a potentially stiff primary challenge from a former city official, Nina Ahmad, as his district faced near-certain changes now that a gerrymandering lawsuit has prompted the state Supreme Court to order a redrawing of the boundaries of Pennsylvania's 18 congressional districts. The decision is on appeal by top state Republican lawmakers at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Brady's district is heavily Democratic, and will likely remain in Democratic hands.

Brady's retirement means there are six open seats in Pennsylvania, the most in decades. Four Republican congressmen have announced that they would not seek re-election — one, Lou Barletta, is running for U.S. Senate — while another Republican congressman, Tim Murphy, resigned in a scandal last fall.

Brady's decision comes after the FBI investigated a payment his campaign made to a primary opponent in 2012.

Brady's campaign gave a city judge who challenged him in the 2012 primary $90,000 to quit the race, according to the plea memo unsealed after the judge's campaign aide pleaded guilty to breaking campaign finance laws. And Brady himself tried to "influence" a witness in the case, according to prosecutors, who said they filed the case under seal for fear he would "corrupt(ly)" pressure the aide not to cooperate.

Brady has denied any wrongdoing and was not charged. Last month, a political consultant for Brady pleaded guilty to lying about the payment.