From the Morning Memo:

Is there something in the water?

Yesterday, a fourth member of New York’s congressional delegation – Rep. Steve Israel, a Long Island Democrat – announced he won’t be seeking re-election this fall, citing a desire to focus on his budding career as a novelist (he’s working on his second book after his first was well-received), and his disgust with the ever-increasing need to raise campaign cash.

Also forgoing re-election bids this year: Veteran Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel, of Harlem; and two upstate Republicans: Reps. Chris Gibson and Richard Hanna.

Israel’s announcement took many people by surprise. He’s a member of the House Democrats’ leadership team, and won re-election fairly comfortably in 2014 with 55 percent of the vote.

But, he also noted in his retirement statement that his district (NY-3) is the only competitive one among the House Democratic leadership team, and he wants to be a “team player” and ensure that it remains in his party’s hands.

Israel headed the DCCC during the 2012 and 2014 elections, in which the Democrats gained eight seats and then lost 13, respectively.

President Obama carried the district in his last re-election bid, but not by much, and he hasn’t been polling terribly strongly there. The Republicans have been saying for some time that Israel would be “in trouble” this year.

NY-3 has about 183,000 active enrolled Democrats to 145,000 Republicans and 123,600 “blanks,” according to the state Board of Elections.

Republican state Sen. Jack Martins has been looking at a potential NY-3 run for some time, and quickly confirmed after Israel’s abrupt announcement that he is indeed “strongly” considering a run this year.

“I plan to discuss this with my wife and four daughters, and look forward to the continued conversations with the men and women who have encouraged me to consider this run in recent months,” Martins said.

“In the meantime, I am focused on representing the Long Island families that I have been fortunate to represent for the past five years.”

Mentioned as potential Democratic contenders for Israel’s seat are former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi, Assemblyman Chuck Lavine and North Hempstead Councilwoman Anna Kaplan – among others.

If Martins does decide to take the plunge, it could be problematic for his Senate GOP colleagues, who are already facing a fight on Long Island for the seat former Majority Leader Dean Skelos was forced to vacate when he was convicted last year on corruption charges.

As has been expected for some time, the Nassau County Democrats last night tapped Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky, a former federal prosecutor, to run in the yet-to-be-called special election for Skelos’ seat.

Kaminsky quickly set out to cast himself as a political reform candidate, while the Senate Republicans just as quickly set out to cast him as a tool of the New York City Democrats – a page out of their (highly successful) 2014 playbook.

The governor is expected to call the special election for Skelos’ seat in April to coincide with the presidential primary, so if Martins fails to make the cut, he could always seek re-election to his current Senate seat in the fall.