BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — David Bellavia, the Medal of Honor recipient who was on the fence about running for New York’s open 27th Congressional District seat, has chosen to stay out, as confirmed Sunday afternoon by News 4’s Dave Greber after speaking with Republican leaders.
Bellavia subsequently issued a statement:
I am formally announcing I will not run for Congress in the 27th District of New York in the upcoming Special Election. 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.
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.
Go Bills! Go Sabres!”Statement from David Bellavia
Bellavia was awarded for his heroism during the Iraq War and long considered a career in politics.
There remain four declared candidates in that race: Republicans Chris Jacobs, Rob Ortt and Beth Parlato, and Democrat Nate McMurray.
The seat is currently open after Chris Collins resigned before his guilty plea in an insider trading case.
A special election would have to be called by the governor. That has been remarked upon by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but not yet been announced.
“U.S. Army SSG. David Bellavia is a national hero who will continue to serve our country in a manner that we should all be grateful for. I commend David on his decision to continue representing the Army and for his work founding the Deuce Deuce Relief Fund, and I look forward to working with him in the future to ensure that our veterans are made a priority when returning home from combat. The health and well-being of our veterans are one of the reasons I have chosen to run for Congress, and the need for battle-tested veteran leadership in Washington, D.C. is greater now than ever before.”State Sen. Rob Ortt
David Bellavia has a deeply held calling to serve his fellow man.
I believe over the last few weeks David grappled with a decision at this point in his life where should that calling for service be fulfilled. Should it be in Congress or should it be in the military. He has now made the decision to continue his service in the military, to defend and protect our Country and all it stands for and all those that wear its uniform.
If David chooses to run for public office in the future, I am confident he will receive resounding support from the voters of Western New York. I thank David Bellavia for his heroic and selfless service and all the great things he will do for our military moving forward.State Sen. Chris Jacobs
NY27’s loss is the country’s gain – and I know David will continue to serve our country with honor and excellence in his next role. David deserved the respect and time to make his decision, on his terms, and as I’ve said, I would make a decision once he made his.Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw
One thing I am certain of – with impeachment of President Trump on the line, we cannot let this seat fall into the hands of a pro-choice, Never Trumper who only claims to support the President now that there’s a political promotion on the line. Washington doesn’t need another weak, opportunistic politician – it needs fearless conservatives who will take the fight to the Democrats and stand with President Trump.
Within the next few days I’ll make a final decision on running in NY27 to ensure we have a voice that actually fights for conservatives, not one that simply poses as a conservative.”
I have the utmost respect for David and his service to our country. His decision to continue serving as an emissary with the US Army is laudable.Assemblyman Steve Hawley