Rep. Robert A. Brady will not run for re-election, he told Philly.com Wednesday. The Pennsylvania Democrat was already facing a handful of primary opponents amid an ongoing scandal relating to his bribing of a former challenger.
Two Brady aides were charged with making an unlawful payment to his 2012 primary challenger, who then left the race. One of Brady’s aides, Donald Jones, pleaded guilty in December to lying to federal agents and agreed to cooperate in the investigation.
The FBI had filed a search warrant relating to Brady’s emails in the case, the Philadelphia CBS affiliate reported in November. Philly.com reported the same month that the statute of limitations for most of the charges Brady could have faced were to expire in January.
Brady said his decision to retire from his 1st District seat after 10 full terms was not related to the bribery case.
“I’ve got a complete bill of health from the federal government,” he told Philly.com. “They told my attorney I am not being charged. They told my attorney in November. No deal was made.”
A handful of Democrats were already running in the May 15 Democratic primary, including former Philadelphia Deputy Mayor Nina Ahmad, minister and radio host Michele Lawrence, financial analyst Lindy Li, and Willie Singletary, a former traffic court judge and ex-felon.
Hillary Clinton carried the 1st District, which encompasses south and central Philadelphia, by 61 points in 2016. However, the district could get new boundaries before this year’s midterms.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court last week tossed out the state’s congressional map on partisan gerrymandering grounds, ordering that new lines be drawn before the this year’s elections. The GOP-led legislature, which drew the map, has requested the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the order. Plaintiffs in the case were confident the U.S. Supreme Court would not step in, because the Pennsylvania court ruled the map violated the state, not the federal, constitution.
Watch: The Many Ways to Draw a Gerrymander