A Western New York Medal of Honor winner, who had been viewed by political observers as having an excellent chance of getting the Republican nomination to run next year for the seat given up by former Rep. Chris Collins, says he will not be seeking that congressional spot.
David Bellavia, honored at the White House in June when President Trump presented his Medal of Honor for service in Iraq, said on Sunday he will not be a candidate for a special election.
That election will be needed to fill the seat left vacant when Chris Collins resigned recently, as he pleaded guilty in an insider trading case.
“My service to our great community and country is unwavering, but I have a new responsibility to the U.S. Army," said Bellavia in a statement. "The Medal of Honor recognition is providing me with an incredible opportunity to serve at a level not thought possible just a few months ago. I am traveling the country, as an ambassador for Western New York, educating and influencing future soldiers and fellow citizens, as well as training and advising military leadership. Acting upon my long-standing and sincere desire to run for Congress at this time would require me to set aside pre-existing commitments I have made to my Army, my family, and those with whom I do business."
Bellavia said he carefully considered the needs and advice of party leadership and those closest to him in making his decision.
There is no shortage of potential Republican candidates for that solidly Republican 27th congressional district. They include State Sens. Chris Jacobs of Buffalo and Bob Ortt of North Tonawanda, as well as former Darien Town Justice Beth Parlato. It is also expected that Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw will get in the race and Assemblymember Steve Hawley of Batavia is also considering a run.