Friday, December 12, 2008

Towns Picked to Succeed Waxman by Jared Allen -

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Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday was elected to succeed Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform panel, according to sources.

Photo caption: Rep Towns speaking to community members at the Ridgewood Reservoir

The selection formally puts to bed weeks of speculation about who would lead the committee in the next Congress.

“I am humbled and honored by my colleagues’ support and confidence," Towns said in a statement. "There is a great deal of work to be done to ensure a smooth transition, and I look forwardto working with both my Democratic and Republican colleagues in concert with the Obama Administration to ensure the federal government is transparent, responsive and efficient.”

Towns was next in seniority, but was not seen as the top choice of Democratic leaders. They worked quietly to arrange for someone else to replace Waxman until it became clear that Towns was intent on taking over as chairman.

In the closing weeks, Towns publicly gathered the support of every Oversight subcommittee chairman, with the exception of Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass.). He also won the support of almost all of his fellow Congressional Black Caucus colleagues, including Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Danny Davis (D-Ill.), who also serve on the Oversight panel.