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Kucinich Announces Challenge to Towns for Oversight Slot

Updated: 12:09 p.m.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) announced Wednesday that he would challenge Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) for the ranking member position on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee in the next Congress.

In a letter to his Democratic colleagues declaring his candidacy, Kucinich, one of the Caucus’ most liberal members, said he will seek the post because presumptive Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) “has already made wild and unsubstantiated charges which threaten to turn the principal oversight committee of the House into a witch hunt.”

“We cannot simply stand by idly and hope that such a reckless approach to the use of the power of the Chair will not happen, especially since it is not only being promised, but demonstrated by the person who will hold the gavel,” Kucinich wrote to Members. “It is a matter of the highest importance that any intemperate use of the power of the Chair be challenged at every turn.”

Towns, the current chairman of the panel, announced Friday in a letter to his colleagues that he wanted to stay on as the committee’s top Democrat.

Kucinich is the fourth-ranking returning Democrat on the committee, after Towns and Reps. Carolyn Maloney (N.Y) and Elijah Cummings (Md.).

Asked Wednesday about Kucinich’s bid, Towns said: “That’s a part of the democratic process. That’s a decision the caucus will have to make. … I will be running.”

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