There’s been some speculation as to whether veteran Congressman Ed Towns will actually campaign for reelection or not, a line of thought aided by his campaign, which, as of last Thursday, would not confirm whether or not he will indeed seek another term.
However, his campaign finance report, which he just filed today, was bound to shed some light on his intentions. If Mr. Towns had raised a miniscule amount of money in the last three months, it would have been indicative that he would throw in the towel. But that does not appear to be the case.
the mystery campaign
Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries opened his congressional campaign headquarters earlier this afternoon, and despite the oddly silent campaign of the incumbent that he’s seeking to unseat, Rep. Ed Towns, he said he still expects a vigorous campaign.
“A 30-year incumbent has a considerable amount of name recognition that we have to take seriously,” Mr. Jeffries told The Politicker after the event. “It’s not surprising that incumbents deploy what has often been referred to as a ‘Rose Garden strategy,’ where they govern and not campaign. Perhaps that’s what this incumbent is engaging in at the moment.”
April 16th at midnight is the filing deadline for congressional candidates to deliver their signatures to the local Board of Elections to get onto the June 26th primary ballot, but in an interesting wrinkle in election law, candidates can still substitute in someone else after this date.
“You have four days after the last day to submit your petitions to decline, so in this case, the day is the 16th and you have until the 20th to decline,” election law guru Jerry Goldfeder succinctly explained to The Politicker this afternoon. “And if you do so, your committee to fill vacancies votes to substitute someone else.”
Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries continued to build his war chest and raised over $237,000 in the last three months, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this afternoon. With about $400,000 cash on hand, he has a decent amount of money to work with as he makes his final push for the June 26th primary where he’s seeking to unseat Congressman Ed Towns.
What Mr. Towns’ reports in his filing next week will likely send a clear signal about his surprisingly sleepy campaign operations so far. He has routinely skipped out on campaign events he attended in past reelection efforts and his campaign’s spokesman was most recently spotted declining to speak about campaign-related matters.
Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, a candidate against veteran Congressman Ed Towns in the Democratic primary, is leaving open the possibility of continuing his campaign on the Working Families Party line even if he loses the primary.
Asked about the hypothetical situation, his campaign spokeswoman Lupé Todd said, “We intend to win on June 26. We will address any questions about the general election once the primary is concluded.”
Congressman Ed Towns is officially campaigning for reelection, sort of.
He hasn’t been showing up at multiple Democratic club endorsements meetings, including some that supported him when he faced serious primary challenges in the past. Most notably, he skipped out on the Vanguard Independent Democratic Association, located in the heart of Bed-Stuy politics.
Bed-Stuy is a neighborhood crucial to victory as he faces the most serious challenge of his career from Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries and Councilman Charles Barron.
cwa all the way
Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries picked up yet another union endorsement this morning, this time it’s the Transport Workers Union of America Local 100.
The endorsement, first reported by Crain’s Insider, landed on top of a big pile of labor support, including SEIU 32BJ, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 and Communication Workers of America District 1. Most notably, he’s also been endorsed by the Working Families Party, a group that could theoretically provide a general election ballot line in addition to troops on the ground.
Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries officially received the endorsement of the politically influential Working Families Party tonight in his primary campaign against the incumbent Congressman Ed Towns. Although it was expected Mr. Jeffries would receive the nod, the WFP doesn’t often back primary challenges against sitting Democratic Representatives and the endorsement is notable.
“Now more than ever, we need progressive champions like Hakeem Jeffries who will stand up for working class, middle class and poor people,” Dan Cantor, the executive director of the party, announced in a statement.
The Queens County Democratic Party announced today that were supporting Brooklyn Congressman Ed Towns in his re-election bid.
We were confused too, until a brief look at Mr. Towns’ new district map revealed that his Central Brooklyn district now stretches to parts of Ozone Park and Howard Beach in Queens.
“I am pleased to have the opportunity to support the re-election of Congressman Ed Towns now that he will be representing a portion of the Borough of Queens,” said Queens County Democratic leader Joe Crowley in a statement. “It is important that we keep him in Congress where his leadership and seniority are critical to the Democratic Party’s success in fighting back against the radical Republican agenda.”
Over the last twenty-four hours, Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries picked up two more reform clubs in his bid to knock off Congressman Ed Towns in the June 26th Democratic primary, grabbing Prospect Heights Democrats for Reform and the Independent Neighborhood Democrats.
And, although politics in Brooklyn is often defined by support of, or opposition to, the head of the county organization Assemblyman Vito Lopez, both Mr. Lopez and groups that staunchly oppose him, like the Independent Neighborhood Democrats and the New Kings Democrats, are firmly jumping behind Mr. Jeffries’ candidacy.