Democratic Reps. Kathy Hochul and Bill Owens joined 238 Republican House members to hold U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress in the wake of the so-called “Fast and Furious” investigation.

Owens and Hochul were among 17 Democrats who voted for the contempt measure, while most Democrats walked off the floor before the vote was held.

The Fast and Furious investigation is considered by Democrats a partisan effort to derail the Obama Justice Department, while House Republicans have pushed the effort to force Holder to reveal more internal administration documents in the wake of the botched gunrunning investigation.

The two Democrats are running for re-election in two of the heaviest Republican districts in New York.

Hochul’s western New York district voted for John McCain over Barack Obama by the widest margin in all of the 27 House district, while Owens’ North Country seat contains the most Republican voters.

The votes from Hochul and Owens appeared to be aimed at taking the election-year issue off the table in their campaigns by voting for it and snuff out a talking point their GOP opponents — Chris Collins and Matt Doheny respectively — might use against them.

In a statement Owens said his vote was cast to push for more transparency in Washington.

“I voted in favor of holding the Attorney General in contempt because I believe we need more openness in this process. Many of these issues have political motivations behind them but, on balance, we need more transparency, not less.”

Updated: Doheny’s campaign released a statement calling on Owens to take it a step further, pushing him to call for Holder’s resignation.

“Mr. Holder has lost the confidence of a bipartisan majority and must step down,” Doheny said in a statement. “Unless Bill Owens’ vote today was merely a purely political maneuver, he should to join me in calling on the attorney general to resign.”