Democratic Party Boss Calls it Quits After Federal Bribery Investigation

politics
January 31, 2018Jan 31, 2018

It had been reported that Bob Brady, the Philadelphia Democratic Party leader, announced on Wednesday that he won't be running for re-election in the U.S. House of Representatives, according to Philly Daily News.

The announcement came during a noon meeting after the party boss revealed his decision to leaders at a Democratic City Committee headquarters meeting. 

This announcement will come as a major shakeup to the city, and it will certainly reduce the political clout of the Philadelphia delegation, which besides Brady includes two other Congressmen with little seniority. This also comes during an election year when many observers believe that the Democrats, if they run the right candidates, may be able to take back the House of Representatives. 

Politico Reports that Brady has represented south Philidelphia in Congress since 1998, but has for much longer been a significant influence on the city's politics. In fact, he has served as chairman of the Philadelphia Democratic Party for over 30 years.

Brady has the reputation as an "old-school politician and party boss" who is "known in Congress as a fixer and backroom dealmaker." He has been dogged, furthermore, by questions about retirement in recent months in the midst of a federal investigation into allegations that his campaign paid a primary challenger to drop out in 2012. 

Indeed, it is alleged that Brady paid his opponent $90,000 to drop out of the race. 

Brady also faces a very difficult primary challenger, Nina Ahmad, as a gerrymandering lawsuit has prompted the Supreme Court to order a redrawing of the boundaries of Pennsylvania's 18 congressional district. 

But these aren't the official reasons that Brady has given for retiring. Rather, he claims that he wishes to spend more time with his family. 

“I love my job, I love my district, and most of all, I love the people I have served,” Brady said, according to Politico. 

The congressman, who has served for a long 11 terms, has denied any wrongdoing in the federal corruption investigation. Lucky for him, if he is guilty of committing the crimes alleged, the statute of limitations for several of the charges has since expired. 

Brady's retirement not only shake up the city, but it will also influence the House Democratic Caucus. Since Brady is an ally of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and a leader of the so-called "Pennsylvania Corner, things will be very different. As of now, Brady is seen as a critical power figure within the caucus. 

Pelosi issued a statement on Wednesday expressing sadness that her friend will be leaving. 

“My colleagues and I will always consider Congressman Brady to be our beloved ‘Mayor of Capitol Hill’ and will miss his steadfast leadership and his friendship,” Pelosi said.

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