Congressman Edolphus “Ed” Towns announced on Friday his endorsement of Al Wiltshire for State Committeeman/District Leader of the 56th assembly district, which encompasses Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights and parts of Bushwick.
Wiltshire currently serves as Towns's chief of staff.
“I can think of no one more qualified to be district leader than Albert Wiltshire,” Towns stated. “He has been a leader in Brooklyn business and politics for decades and has provided leadership for many community organizations.”
Wiltshire will oppose current 56th A.D. District Leader Robert Cornegy, president of VIDA Democratic Club in Bed-Stuy and who also unofficially has announced his plans to run for City Council in 2013, a seat currently occupied by Albert Vann.
Towns's endorsement of Wiltshire, for some, raises a few eyebrows but for many comes as little surprise, after Cornegy on behalf of VIDA -- a longtime supporter of Towns-- over both Towns and City Councilman Charles Barron, during the Democratic congressional primary race earlier this year.
“It’s nothing personal, but I had to go with what the board and my community wanted, and I have to respect my community’s voice,” said Cornegy in April.
Jeffries won the June primary, even after Towns dropped out of the race and threw his support behind Barron.
Now, as Cornegy girds up for reelection to a seat he has held for just one term, it appears Towns will return the favor with an endorsement of Wiltshire.
Although Wiltshire's face and presence around Bed-Stuy has been nominal at best, Towns points to Wiltshire as a key advisor behind many of the congressman's policy decisions over his 30-year term.
Before his tenure as chief of staff with Congressman Towns, Wiltshire worked as a police officer during the Civil Rights era. He then went on to serve as president and CEO of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation and then worked as vice president for governmental affairs for the Keyspan Corporation
“This is my community and we need effective leadership to continue the work we have done over the years,” said Wiltshire in a press release. “I am very proud of my track record of public and private service. I want to put my years of leadership to work for residents in the 56th District.”