Item II from the Morning Memo:

A little news this morning out of the 21st Congressional District.

An email that arrived in my in-box at 5:15 a.m. revealed one of the four Republican candidates vying for their party’s nod to run for the seat of retiring Democratic Rep. Bill Owens has decided to drop out of the race.

GOP consultant and former US Marine Jamie Waller says “the time is not right” for him to run, and so he has decided to withdraw from the race and back businessman Matt Doheny instead.

This was a fairly abrupt decision. As recently as last week, Waller was preparing to circulate petitions for his congressional run.

“Matt has the strongest work ethic, the proven experience and the record to be a great representative for all of us,” Waller said.

“As a true fellow resident of the North Country, I know Matt shares my values and understands the truly dynamic needs of all communities within the 21st.”

Waller expressed disappointment with Doheny’s main opponent, former Bush administration aide Elise Stefanik, saying she “fails to be truthful” with radio ads that claim she’s the “only conservative” in the race.

Stefanik landed the endorsement of the majority of the NY-21 GOP county chairs before Doheny, who ran two unsuccessful campaigns against Owens, decided to throw his hat into the ring a third time.

Now the two Republicans are battling for support from both GOP and Conservative Party leaders. Joseph Gilbert, a retired U.S. Army major and Tea Party leader from St. Lawrence County, is the third GOP candidate.

The Democrats have selected Brooklyn documentary filmmaker Aaron Woolf, who owns a house in Elizabethtown, to run in Owens’ stead.

But Woolf faces a primary from Macomb Town Councilman Stephen Burke, a former St. Lawrence County Democratic chairman.