Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., has decided he will not seek a !6th term in the House, according to Democratic source in Washington, although his office has not yet made an official announcement.
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A Towns spokesman did not immediately return a call or messages from National Journal, but a senior Democratic congressional aide confirmed the news.
Word of Towns’ decision was first reported via a tweet by a New York Daily News reporter, who cited two unidentified sources, and also said Towns is calling supporters and some other members of New York’s congressional delegation.
Towns’ decision came on the eve of the Monday deadline for New York candidates to file their petitions to qualify for the state’s June 26th primary, and despite claims as recently as Friday by aides that he was laying the groundwork for another run.
A spokesman, Charles Lewis, had even pointed that Towns, 77, hired one of New York’s most experienced political operatives, Hank Sheinkopf, to handle media for a campaign.
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Two other Democrats who have declared they are running in a primary for what is New York’s new reconfigured eighth Congressional seat, a safely Democratic district, are state Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries and City Council Member Charles Barron, a former Black Panther.
Towns will be the 25th representative during the 112th Congress to announce retirement – 15 Democrats and 10 Republicans.