Washington (CNN) - The list of House members retiring at the end of the year rather than running for re-election keeps growing.
Democratic Rep. Bill Owens of New York State announced Tuesday that he won't seek another term, leaving another competitive seat open for the midterms.
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"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," the centrist Democrat said in a statement.
Nine Republicans and five Democrats in the House have announced they are retiring rather than run for re-election in 2014.
That count does not include lawmakers who've already resigned or have died in office.
Besides Owens, those lawmakers passing up re-election campaigns this year are Spencer Bachus, R-Alabama, Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota), John Campbell (R-California), Howard Coble (R-North Carolina), Jim Gerlach (R-Pennsylvania), Tim Griffin (R-Arkansas), Tom Latham (R-Iowa), Jim Matheson (D-Utah), Carolyn McCarthy (D-New York), Mike McIntyre (D-North Carolina); George Miller (D-California), Jon Runyan (R-New Jersey), and Frank Wolf (R-Virginia).
Democrats need to win a challenging 17 seats to regain control of the House for the first time since 2010.
New York's 21st Congressional District is the largest geographically in the state. It covers most of the North Country, from Lake Champlain west to the St. Lawrence Seaway.
Owens won the seat in a 2009 special election, and was reelected twice. He never captured more than 50% of the vote in any of his three victories. Barack Obama carried the swing district by 5 points in his 2008 presidential victory by 6 points in 2012.
The National Republican Congressional Committee says the Owens announcement hurts Democrats.
"Make no mistake, Owens's retirement is a massive blow to Democrats' ever-dwindling hopes for the 2014 election. Clearly vulnerable Democrats would rather exit Congress voluntarily than be forced out by voters because of their support for Obamacare and other disastrous Democrat economic policies," Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon, the National Republican Campaign Committee chairman, said in a statement.
"If Democrats in swing districts like the 21st District of New York are heading for the hills, the chances of Nancy Pelosi becoming Speaker of the House have been downgraded again," he said.
Walden's Democratic counterpart is confident the seat can stay in party hands, pointing to a GOP primary battle.
"While Republicans are already fighting a bitter and divisive primary, I have no doubt that another commonsense Democrat will fill his shoes in this competitive district that Democrats have held for the past three elections," said Rep. Steve Israel of New York, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Three Republican candidates are already in the race, with more possibly to come.
CNN Senior Congressional Producer Deirdre Walsh contributed to this story