Congressman Edolphus Towns to retire in New York

Facing a potentially bitter primary battle, Democratic Rep. Edolphus Towns confirmed Monday that  he will not run for re-election to his Brooklyn, N.Y.-area district this year.

"After months of long family discussions, I have decided not to seek reelection for my seat in the United State House of Representatives," Towns, who was first elected in 1982, said in a statement dated April 16 on his House website. "I am very grateful for the support we have received over the years. I believe firmly that we would have won a 16th term had we decided to run."

Unconfirmed news of Towns' retirement was first reported Sunday night by the New York Daily News.

Redistricting following the 2010 census meant Towns' 10th District was redrawn and he would be running in a reorganized and renumbered 8th District this year. One of Towns' Democratic challengers, state Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, just posted more money on hand than Towns. Jeffries' campaign reported $398,000 on hand at the end of last month, while Towns reported $254,000, according to the Federal Election Commission. City Councilman Charles Barron, who has unsuccessfully challenged Towns in the past, is running this year and reported $53,000 on hand.

Following Towns' exit, Jeffries becomes the immediate odds-on favorite to succeed the congressman.

About 25 members of the House have already announced plans to retire rather than seek re-election, with additional members choosing to run for higher office.

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