Darryl Towns announced earlier today that he is leaving the Assembly seat he has held since 1992, setting off a special election in central Brooklyn to replace him.
According to central Brooklyn sources, the race to replace Towns is shaping up to be a battle between Kings County Democratic Party and its head, Vito Lopez, and the Towns family. The two sides both have deep ties in the area and have seldom seen eye-to-eye.
Lopez’s favored candidate is believed to be City Councilman Eric Dilan. But Dilan heads the Council’s powerful Housing Committee, and may not want to give up the seat for a two-and-a-half hour commute upstate to be a back bench Assemblyman. Plus, Lopez, who heads the Assembly’s Housing Committee, may want to keep an ally in the Council. Dilan’s wife, Junitza Luna Dilan, has also been mentioned as a possibility, although the couple have two young children.
It is expected that the Towns family will look to keep the seat in their hands. Congressman Ed Towns’ daughter, Deidra Towns, is widely assumed to have been groomed for the seat if Darryl ever gave it up, and Darryl Towns’ wife, Karen Boykin-Towns, has also been mentioned as a possibility.
“Ed is very calculating,” said one Brooklyn political insider. “I don’t think that thing is probably leaving the family. They had to time it so that Vito doesn’t get control of that seat.”
The Townses will have to line up union support however in order to combat the foot soldiers of the Brooklyn Democratic Party.
Developer DeCosta Headley and former assemblyman Victor Robles were also mentioned as possibilities.