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.