By WGBH News
Jan. 23, 2012
BOSTON — City councilor Mike Ross announced on Monday that he has decided not to pursue the 4th Congressional seat long held by Barney Frank. Ross' hometown of Newton is part of the district, which was redesigned in November 2011. Ross formed an exploratory committee to pursue the race in early December; about one month later, Joseph Kennedy III announced his interest in the seat.
Here is the statement from Ross' exploratory committee office:
Almost seven weeks ago today we learned that Barney Frank, a long-time crusader for justice and equality, would not be running for reelection, creating a rare open seat in the fourth congressional district. These events don’t happen often. I was nine years old attending the Ward School in Newton when Barney was first elected.
For the last several weeks, along with some extremely dedicated volunteers, dear friends, and a devoted family, I began the privilege of exploring a run for U.S. Congress. The opportunity to follow in the shoes of Barney Frank’s more than three decades of service, and represent my home town and surrounding communities, deserved my serious consideration.
I know that my 12 years of experience in elected office have equipped me with the skills needed to make a difference in Washington. In Boston I created jobs and opportunities that improved the lives of the families and communities I’ve served. I believe that the accountability that is the cornerstone of local government is sorely missing at the federal level. Our country has begun to fall behind in multiple measures: American public education which once led the world, has fallen somewhere in the middle of the pack; our ability to train our people to compete for the jobs of tomorrow is slipping; and at this moment in our country the American dream is less achievable than it was just decades ago. And Congress, instead of tackling these real problems, is dysfunctional and broken.
With these challenges facing our country in mind and after long personal deliberation, I have come to the difficult decision that a run for this congressional seat is not the best decision for me at this time. I am humbled by the significant outpouring of support that I have received from residents of the district and beyond and I am committed to working together with everyone to ensure that we elect a Democrat who will fight for working families and represent our progressive values.
Despite my disappointment of being unable to participate in this spirited exchange of ideas, I am truly honored to continue to serve the people of Boston. I am particularly proud to be able to remain in the neighborhood of Mission Hill — a community I love — and stand ready to work for the constituents I serve and tackle the important issues of our time.
WGBH ELECTION CENTRAL