A Western New York Medal of Honor recipient, who had been viewed as having an excellent chance of getting the Republican nomination to for the seat given up by former Rep. Chris Collins, says he won’t be running.
David Bellavia, who was honored at the White House in June with a Medal of Honor for service in Iraq, said on Sunday he will not be a candidate for a special election.
That election is needed to fill the seat vacated by Chris Collins who resigned after pleading guilty in an insider trading case.
In a statement issued by Bellavia, he said, “My service to our great community and country is unwavering, but I have a new responsibility to the U.S. Army. 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.”
Bellavia also said, “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. I have carefully considered the needs and advice of party leadership and those closest to me and I am extremely thankful and forever humbled by the overwhelming support from Western New York.”
According to the Buffalo News, there is no shortage of potential Republican candidates for that solidly Republican congressional district.
The newspaper notes that candidates include State Senators Chris Jacobs and Bob Ortt, as well as former Darien Town Justice Beth Parlato.
It’s also expected that Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw will get in the race and Assemblyman Steve Hawley is also said to be considering a run.