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Joseph Kennedy III, at a campaign rally for Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley (third from left) in 2010, may soon be announcing a political run of his own to replace Rep. Barney Frank, who is retiring from the U.S. House. Mr. Kennedy said he will begin "to reach out to the people of [Massachusetts' 4th Congressional District] in order to hear directly from them about the challenges they are facing." (Associated Press)

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Joseph P. Kennedy III, a grandson of the late Robert F. Kennedy, said he is forming an exploratory committee to run for the congressional seat held by retiring Rep. Barney Frank. (Associated Press)

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Joseph P. Kennedy III told the Boston Globe he is "seriously considering" a run next year for the Massachusetts seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Barney Frank. (Associated Press)

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Illustration: Barney Frank by Alexander Hunter for The Washington Times

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Rep. Barney Frank arrives Monday at Newton, Mass., City Hall, where he announced he would not seek re-election in 2012. The Democrat was first elected in 1980. (Associated Press)

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** FILE ** Former Democratic congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts. (Associated Press)

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Rep. Ron Paul joins with Rep. Barney Frank and other Democrats to back first-ever legislation to "end the federal war" on marijuana. (Image from Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican.)

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Illustration: Barney Frank by Alexander Hunter for The Washington Times

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House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, Massachusetts Democrat (right), confers with the committee's ranking Republican, Spencer Bachus of Alabama, during a September hearing. Mr. Bachus, who will succeed Mr. Frank as chairman in January, is expected to exhibit a more reserved style. (Associated Press)

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** FILE ** U.S. President Barack Obama signs the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act at the Ronald Reagan Building, July 21, 2010, in Washington, D.C. Also pictured (L-R) are Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA). (UPI/Win McNamee/Pool)

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President Barack Obama, left, points to Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., center, and Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., right, after signing the Dodd Frank-Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in a ceremony in the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, Wednesday, July 21, 2010.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

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U.S. President Barack Obama signs the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act before (L-R) Vice President Joe Biden, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) at the Ronald Reagan Building July 21, 2010 in Washington, DC. The bill is the strongest financial reform legislation since the Great Depression and also creates a consumer protection bureau that oversees banks on mortgage lending and credit card practices UPI/Win McNamee/Pool

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House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., left, talks with former Virginia Rep. Tom Davis, on Capitol Hill in Washington Thursday, July 15, 2010, after Congress passed the stiffest restrictions on banks and Wall Street since the Great Depression. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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** FILE ** In this May 21, 2010, photo, Rep. Barney Frank (left), Massachusetts Democrat, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, and Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, Connecticut Democrat, who is Senate Banking Committee chairman, speak to reporters outside the White House after meeting with President Obama on banking-overhaul legislation. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)