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Towns Reelection Bid Running Out Of Gas?

Veteran Congressman has only $11K on hand for possible primary challenge.

In terms of campaign cash, Rep. Ed Towns' bid for a 15th term seems already to have lost a lot of steam.

As first reported on Sunday by Capital New York, the veteran Brooklyn Congressman had only $11,240.31 on hand for a possible primary challenge next year. That's about $42,000 less than Towns had in the quarter ending June 30, with more than $100,000 in expenditures accounting for much of the drop in the reelection campaign's reserves.

By contrast, Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, D-Prospect Heights, reported more than $150,000 on hand for a potential Democratic primary bid against Towns.

Jeffries raised $173,873 last quarter, with the lion's share coming from individual contributors, according to the Federal Elections Commission.

Councilman Charles Barron, D-East New York, who ran an unsuccessful primary bid against Towns in 2006, has also expressed interest in the seat.

Though Jeffries and Barron have not formally announced their intention to enter next year's Democratic primary, there are indications that Towns' 28-year tenure in the U.S. House could be in jeopardy this time around.

For starters, with Congress' approval rating hovering at historic lows, Jeffries' ramped up anti-incumbent rhetoric may resonate with some dissaffected voters.

And Brooklyn's Democratic machine may not have the resources—or the will—to go to the mat for the incumbent this go around.

According to a report in the New York Times, Queens and Brooklyn Democrats outspent 2 to 1 Republican challenger Bob Turner in a costly and ultimately fruitless effort to keep disgraced Rep. Anthony Weiner's seat. And in a sign of weak party support, Towns earlier this year lost an unsuccessful bid for a District Leader post to an ally of Brooklyn Democratic boss Vito Lopez.

“A 28-year incumbent who has been challenged relentlessly for at least 15 years that begins the campaign season with less money than most people have in their 401(k) is in trouble,” a political insider told City Hall.

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