U.S. Representative Edolphus Towns, a New York Democrat, said today he won’t seek re-election this year.
Towns, a former chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, announced his decision in a statement on his website. Towns, 77, said he made the decision to retire “after months of long family discussions.” He said, “I believe firmly that we would have won a 16th term had we decided to run.”
Towns announced his retirement on the last day for potential candidates to file for the June 26 Democratic primary, where he faced opposition from state Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries and New York City Councilman Charles Barron.
The Brooklyn congressional district is overwhelmingly Democratic, so the winner of the primary is all but assured of victory in the general election.
The announcement brings the tally of House Democrats who won’t be defending their seats in November to 24, compared with 20 House Republicans. Those lawmakers include California Republican David Dreier, chairman of the Rules Committee, and New York Democrat Gary Ackerman.
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