Rep. Ed Towns (D-N.Y.) is retiring after 30 years in Congress.

Towns will not seek re-election later this year for the re-drawn 8th Congressional seat.

The 77-year-old was to face a tough primary fight against two Democratic challengers, New York City Councilman Charles Barron and state Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries.

I ran into Towns about a month ago, and he gave every indication that he was prepared to run a strong race, but according to campaign finance reports filed over the weekend, Jeffries had outraised Towns by more than $40,000 during the first quarter.

Towns was first elected in 1982 and was formerly Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The former school teacher is also a veteran of the United States Army and an ordained Baptist minister.