PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — U.S. Rep. Bob Brady of Philadelphia, a plainspoken former carpenter who has served as the city’s Democratic Party boss for 30 years, announced Wednesday he will not seek another term in Congress, insisting he’s retiring to spend more time with his family and not because of a corruption case dogging him.
“I made a decision for me not to you know, run for re-election…today I’m choosing family over service,” said Brady during a press conference on Wednesday.
The congressman has been the chairman of the Philadelphia Democratic Party since 1986 and has held his congressional seat since 1998.
A former carpenter union boss himself, Brady has helped broker many union contracts.
His ability to mediate, most recently used to end the 2016 transit union workers strike in Philadelphia.
“He worked tirelessly. During my time as mayor and governor, I remember Bob Brady helped us six, eight, maybe 10 times settle labor disputes that seemed to be unresolvable until Brady got involved,” said former Governor Ed Rendell.
He says as mayor of Philadelphia from 1992 until 2000, Brady was instrumental in helping settle issues within the city.
“Bob Brady is one of those guys who you think he’ll be there forever. And he was an enormous, enormous help to the city,” Rendell said.
“I’ve brought back 15.5 billion with a ‘b,’ billion dollars to the city of Philadelphia and this region. With the Sunoco, with the jobs,” said Brady on Wednesday.
And now there is concern, even from members of the opposing party on what Brady’s departure means for our region.
“We thought we fought one day a year and that was general election day because both of us had the city of Philadelphia and its citizens in our hearts. And I fear that this retirement that Philadelphia will be challenged very much,” said Philly GOP chairman Michael Meehan.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)