12:35 am Oct. 16, 2011
Congressman Ed Towns ended the third quarter with just $11,240 in cash on hand, according to his most recent filing with the Federal Election Commission.
Towns began the quarter with a little more than $53,000 on hand, but raised just $69,258 in the last three months, while spending $107,742.
Towns' depleted coffers could encourage a number of primary challengers, namely Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, who recently converted a congressional exploratory committee into a full-fledged campaign account on the strength of his own fundraising. On Friday, Jeffries reported raising $173,000, with almost no expenses, giving him more than $158,000 on hand.
Towns' filing is the latest in a summer of setbacks for the longtime congressman. In May, he lost a race for district leader to an ally of Brooklyn party chair Vito Lopez. In July, his daughter Deidra finished third in a three-way special election for an Assembly seat. His son, Darryl, who vacated that seat to take a position as the state's housing commissioner, pleaded guilty to a D.U.I. charge last month.
Towns has insisted he'll be running for re-election despite the string of defeats, and regardless of who runs against him. In addition to Jeffries, City Councilman Charles Barron has suggested he might challenge Towns again, after running unsuccessfully in 2006.
Towns has held the seat for 28 years.