Updated 9:35 p.m. | A knowledgeable source confirmed to Roll Call that 15-term Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), first elected in 1992, will retire at the end of the 112th Congress. The news was first reported by the New York Daily News tonight on Twitter.
Towns, 77, had faced a very serious primary challenge from state Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, who is now the frontrunner for the safe Democratic seat, New York Democrats said. Also in the Democratic primary is New York City Councilman Charles Barron. One other name floated by a Big Apple Democrat as a potential candidate: state Sen. Kevin Parker.
Towns, a former chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, showed little appetite for campaigning this cycle, leading to growing local speculation that he might drop out of the race.