After only one and one half terms in office Rep. Bill Owens (D-NY21) announced he will not be seeking reelection. Owens was elected in 2009 after the Republican establishment backed Dede Scozzafava over conservative candidate Doug Hoffman. Scozzafava ended up dropping out of the race and endorsing Owens who went on to win by a small margin. His district is a conservative district, which probably explains his announcement today.
“After careful thought and consideration, I have decided not to seek re-election for the 21st Congressional District this November. 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.
My appreciation for the support of my wife, children, grandchildren and close friends cannot be sufficiently expressed in words. There are others — too numerous to list — to whom I owe a great debt of gratitude. The remainder of my term will be spent in much the same way as the previous four years: assisting constituents with their individual concerns, continuing to focus on passing a Farm Bill, helping to create jobs in our communities, working for our troops and veterans, keeping the northern border secure and fluid and being a voice in Congress for bipartisanship, as well as fact-based decision making. You can count on me to work with and for you over the remainder of my term.
It is time for me to undertake new endeavors and spend more time with my family. Even though I will not seek re-election, it is my goal that the next phase of my life will continue to focus on helping to improve the lives of all New Yorkers, primarily through job creation and economic development.
Thank you for letting me serve you since November 2009.”
NRCC spokesman Ian Prior said Owens’s decision is indicative of the problems faving House Democrats this year. “Bill Owens is just the latest Democrat who would rather hang ‘em up than have to spend the next year defending Obamacare and other Democratic economic policies that haven’t evolved since Jimmy Carter was president. It’s looking more and more likely that the 21st District will elect a strong Republican leader in 2014 who will go to Washington and fight for better jobs, a more limited and efficient government, and against Obamacare’s job-killing medical device tax.”
North Country Public Radio reports that the Republican committees will be meeting at the end of the month to choose a candidate. Let’s hope they can avoid a debacle similar to what happened in 2009.