After 20 years in Congress, Philadelphia U.S. Rep. Bob Brady has decided not to seek re-election to his Congressional seat.
Brady has recently been dogged by a federal investigation into allegations that he paid a 2012 primary opponent $90,000 from his campaign fund to get out of the race.
Brady has not been charged in the case, but the former opponent, Jimmie Moore, his former campaign manager, Carolyn Cavaness, and Donald Jones, a political consultant with longstanding ties to Brady have all pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations.
Another consultant close to Brady, Ken Smukler has also been charged and is awaiting trial.
James Eisenhower, Brady’s attorney, says that he and other lawyers advised the Congressman they do not believe he will be charged.
Brady told reporters at a news conference the investigation had nothing to do with his decision not to run again.
“I did nothing wrong,” Brady said, though he declined to say whether the meeting prosecutors say he had with Moore ever happened.
Brady, 72 said he believes if he ran again he’d be re-nominated and re-elected. He said his reasons for ending his Congressional career are personal.
“My daughter, a single parent, could use some help. I’d like to take my grandchildren to school. I have a great grandchild, and another grandchild on the way,” Brady said. “I just think that I choose them over service, and right now, it’s time for me to come home.”
Brady said he would keep his post at chairman of Philadelphia’s Democratic Party. He met with party ward leaders this morning, and said he was “humbled” by their expressions of support for him.
Several Democrats have already expressed interest in running for Brady’s seat, which includes parts of South Philadelphia, Center City, the river wards, and parts of Delaware County.
But the district’s boundaries may well change. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has declared all the state’s Congressional boundaries to be unconstitutionally gerrymandered, and has ordered the legislature to re-draw all 18 House districts.
Brady said one reason he announced his departure now is that state lawmakers are looking at district boundaries and might want to keep his home in the city’s Overbrook section in the district. He said he didn’t want their deliberations to be affected by his interests.
When asked who in the legislature was showing him potential Congressional maps, Brady just smiled.
“I’ve seen maps,” he said.
This is a corrected article. A previous version erroneously reported who advised Brady he would likely not be charged.