The House: Clash of Ideas and Styles

Incumbent vs. incumbent

Democrat Barney Frank did not want to run against Republican Margaret Heckler. Heckler did not want to face Frank. But according to the last census, Massachusetts had one too many congressional seats; somebody would have to be squeezed out. The Democrat-controlled legislature, charged with redistricting, chose to inconvenience most the incumbent they knew best and liked least: Frank, 42, who as a state legislator (1973-80) had made the mistake of being uncooperative and acerbic. The gerrymandered new Fourth District, which stretches snakelike from Boston to Rhode Island, has many more...

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