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January 31, 2018

Report: Bob Brady will not seek re-election

Powerful Democrat's decision to not run for a 12th term in Congress could shake up city and state politics

Politics Elections
Bob Brady - USA TODAY Joe Lamberti/Courier-Post via USA TODAY NETWORK

U.S. Rep. Bob Brady stands inside Philadelphia International Airport during a protest for detained immigrants on Jan. 28, 2017.

Longtime Philadelphia Democratic leader Bob Brady announced on Wednesday that he will not seek re-election to the House, a move that follows a federal probe and the indictments of two of Brady's political aides over an alleged payoff from his 2012 re-election campaign.

Brady, an 11-term U.S. Representative in Pennsylvania's First Congressional District seat and leader of Philly's Democratic Party, met with ward leaders at a noon meeting and told them he would be calling it a career, Philly.com reported.

The move will no doubt mark a significant shakeup in both Philadelphia and Pennsylvania politics.

Philly.com reported on Wednesday that Brady, in an interview hours before the announcement, was adamant that the investigation played no role in his decision.

“I’ve been married for 21 years,” Brady told Philly.com. “For 20 of those years, I’ve been going to Washington four days a week. I need to come back home.”

In October, two of his political aides, Donald Jones and Ken Smukler, were indicted over a $90,000 payment made by the Brady campaign to his would-be opponent in the race, former city judge Jimmie Moore. Investigators say the payment was made in exchange for Moore dropping out of the race before the election.

Jones has since pleaded guilty in federal court, but Smukler has reportedly said he will fight the charges.

Brady has not been charged in the probe.

“I’ve got a complete bill of health from the federal government,” Brady told Philly.com. “They told my attorney I am not being charged. They told my attorney in November. No deal was made.”

One of his attorneys, James Eisenhower, told the site that the statute of limitations expired in January on almost all of the charges he may have faced, and that Brady has been advised by his attorneys that they don't believe he will be charged.

 Brady began his two-decades-long career in the House in 1998 and became the ranking Democrat on the Committee on House Administration in 2007. He has led Philadelphia's Democratic Party since 1986.

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