Owens Becomes Third Vulnerable Democrat to Quit House

Image: Owens Becomes Third Vulnerable Democrat to Quit House

Tuesday, 14 Jan 2014 07:38 PM

By Amy Woods

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New York Rep. Bill Owens will not run for re-election, making the New Yorker the third Democrat in a vulnerable seat to announce plans for retirement, Politico reported Tuesday.

Owens joins Reps. Jim Matheson, of Utah, and Mike McIntyre, of North Carolina, leaving open seats that possibly could be taken over by Republicans, increasing the GOP's current 17-seat advantage in the chamber.

"After careful thought and consideration, I have decided not to seek re-election for the 21st Congressional District this November," Owens said via a statement. "I have enjoyed the opportunity to travel the district, meeting and serving the families and business owners of this vast community. It has truly been a privilege to serve, and I plan on continuing to work for a brighter future for the region."

Owens is in a swing district in upstate New York, and his seat is coveted by Republican Elise Stefanik, a former aide to President George W. Bush who has started a campaign for the seat, which Republicans believe is winnable.

However Democrats believe at least four Republican retirements —  Reps. Jim Gerlach of Pennsylvania, Tom Latham of Iowa,  Jon Runyan of New Jersey, and Frank Wolf of Virginia — give them a chance to pick up seats in November.

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