Updated 04/16/2012 07:15 PM
Brooklyn Rep. Ed Towns Will Not Seek Re-Election
It is the end of an era in Brooklyn politics, as after nearly 30 years in office, Brooklyn Congressman Ed Towns has decided not to run for re-election. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
He may be on the way out, but Congressman Ed Towns had to get in one last jab Monday, making clear he wasn’t scared by the prospect of a June primary against Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries and City Councilman Charles Barron.
“I do believe that we would have won,” Towns said. “I felt that as far as winning in a three-way race, I had no problem.”
Instead, the 15-term congressman says it was simply time. He says he was particularly affected by the death last month of longtime New Jersey Congressman Donald Payne.
“Donald Payne and I were the same age. Donald Payne and I, you know, were close, very close, and we talked about things that we wanted to do after we finished Congress,” said Towns.
NY1 reported earlier this month that Towns was behind in fundraising in his race and that he had barely been seen on the campaign trail.
An ordained Baptist minister, Towns will continue to preach, and at age 77, says he is most looking forward to time with his five grandchildren.
“After 30 years, I really feel that the time has come that I should move on and allow somebody else to do this,” said Towns.
As to who that somebody else will be, Towns has not yet decided whether to endorse a candidate. Jeffries, who has already won numerous endorsements and raised more than a half-million dollars, said he will seek the congressman’s support.
“He’s to be commended for all that he has done for the people of Brooklyn, and at this point, I look forward to building upon his accomplishments and moving the community forward to address the pressing needs of the day,” said Jeffries.
The assemblyman will have his hands full against Barron, who ran a close race against Towns in 2006, and believes his time has come.
“We have poverty that is extremely high in our neighborhoods, yet you have trillions of dollars of money for wars, $800 billion to bail out those crooks on Wall Street," said Barron. "So you’re looking at the candidate of the 99 percent. And those others who are in the race are representing the 1 percent.”
The primary takes place June 26. The winner, in what is a heavily Democratic district, will then likely have a clear path to victory in November.
The congressional district, which includes Bedford-Stuyvesant and Brownsville, has been redrawn to include parts of Coney Island and Howard Beach.
Towns is the second member of the city's congressional delegation to decide not to run for re-election this year.
The retirement of Congressman Gary Ackerman, who represents parts of Queens, has sparked a heavily contested primary.