A stunning political announcement today in the north country. Congressman Bill Owens has suddenly announced that he's not seeking re-election this fall.

In a brief statement on his website, Owens says he's calling it quits after three terms in office. The Democrat say he wants to spend more time with his family and that the remainder of his term will be spent representing his constituents.

He says he owes a debt of gratitude from his family for allowing his time in congress. With the announcement from Owens today, it leaves the field for the 21st Congressional District wide open.

Here's an excerpt from Owens' brief statement 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.