Rep. Towns is lobbying to get the top spot on oversight committee

Rep. Edolphus Towns is lobbying colleagues to support his bid to remain the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. 

In a "Dear Colleague" letter circulated Friday, the New York Democrat sought to stave off emerging speculation that he simply isn't up to the task of doing battle with incoming-Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), a vocal opponent of the Obama administration who's vowing hundreds of investigations into White House activities next year alone.

Towns said he'll "work closely with my fellow committee Democrats to form a bulwark against any politically motivated investigations." 

"Any attempt to use this Committee as a political weapon to tear down this Administration is intolerable and I will use every tool at my disposal to ensure this does not occur," he wrote.

A House aide familiar with the saga said Friday that a significant number of Democrats — both in Congress and in the White House — "are thinking it's a good idea to look beyond Ed Towns as ranking member." 

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) is next in line behind Towns for the spot. Maloney's office said Friday that the 18-year New York veteran is fully supporting Towns in his bid to keep the seat.