Monday, February 28, 2011

Why is a Brooklyn Congressman Running for District Leader?

Posted By on Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Cant a powerful man just want to have a low-level, unpaid position?
  • Can't a powerful man just want to have a low-level, unpaid position?
Last week, the 14-term congressman from Fort Greene, Ed Towns, began preparing to run for the lowest elected position he could hold: district leader. His son had held the position, but was recently tapped to enter the Cuomo administration. Ed has said he wants to continue his son's legacy, but the Brooklyn Paper reported that the 76-year-old probably has more up his sleeve than a yen to "line up poll workers and get petition signatures for other candidates." Could it be to undermine the strength of Brooklyn's Democratic boss, Vito Lopez?

We asked the only district leader we know—Lincoln Restler, whose victory last year was seen as a blow to the Lopez machine.

"It's unclear what exactly is driving ol' Edolphus here," Restler wrote in an e-mail.

Does he simply want to keep this seat in anti-Vito hands, is he trying to position himself as the next county leader, or does he just want to get a judge or two on the supreme court?

As it relates to the Brooklyn Democratic machine and boss Vito, Congressman Towns and his son Darryl have been long time critics.

At the end of the day, it will be a test of Vito's power if he can stop a 30 year incumbent of the U.S House of Representatives from taking a district leader seat!

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