In a rare contested vote for a district leader seat in the Kings County Democratic Party, Council Member Erik Dilan defeated Congressman Ed Towns by a 36-10 margin.
The Dilan victory is a show of strength for the Bushwick council member and an embarrassing defeat for the longtime congressman, whose son, Darryl Towns held the position prior to accepting a post as Housing Commissioner under Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The vote also may have implications for the Assembly seat which Darryl Towns vacated to join the administration. His sister, Deidra Towns is running to replace him–against Rafael Espinal, a staffer to Dilan.
The margin of Dilan’s win surprised local politicos, and can be read as a sign of strength by County Leader Vito Lopez, who lobbied district leaders on Dilan’s behalf in the days leading up to this evening’s vote.
Neither Towns nor Dilan were present for the vote. Towns was at an event for his daughter’s campaign, while Dilan waited outside until the district leaders summoned him into the meeting after the vote.
The vote, held at the Stars and Stripes Regular Democratic Club in Bensonhurst, was closed to the press.