David Bellavia announced his candidacy for the new 27th Congressional District on Monday.
Bellavia, a Republican, suggested he’s running a dual campaign against President Barack Obama as well as U.S. Rep. Kathy Hochul, the Democratic incumbent who’s poised to run in the new district as well.
“Today, my family and our neighbors have a representative in Congress who agrees with just about everything President Obama says and does,” Bellavia said. “Rep. Hochul backs the budget busting programs that have broken our economy. She backs the President’s ideas that have blown our deficit into the stratosphere. She backs the ObamaCare tenets which violate the Constitutional protections of our religious liberty. She backs the President Obama’s moves which have spiked the price of gas in America, and she backs his dangerous defense cuts which are closing the strategically important Niagara Falls Air Base.”
Circulation of party designating petitions to get on the 27th District ballot starts today. Bellavia is the first Republican to declare his pursuit. Other mentioned GOP candidates include former Erie County Executive Chris Collins and former Erie County Sheriff/present state Sen. Patrick Gallivan.
Briefly, Bellavia was a candidate in the May 2011 special election to replace resigned 26th District Rep. Chris Lee. GOP chairmen in the seven-county district rejected his appeal to be the party’s nominee; then party functionaries upended Bellavia’s petitions for an independent line in the race. Bellavia ended up campaigning against the party’s pick, 142nd District state Assembly member Jane Corwin, and for independent “tea party” candidate Jack Davis. Hochul, the Democrat, swept in what was assumed to be a “safe” Republican district.
Bellavia, 36, is a decorated Army combat veteran of the Iraqi war and the author of “House to House,” a 2007 account of his experience leading a platoon in the Battle of Fallujah. He resides in Batavia.
Bellavia also tried running for Congress in 2008, but did not get the Republican party’s support. The nomination, and the seat that year, went to Lee — who abruptly resigned only months after his 2010 reelection, after information and photos surfaced suggesting he was straying from his marriage.
The proposed 27th Congressional District takes in much of the existing 26th District but is more rural — and Republican-led in voter registration — than the 26th. In Niagara and Orleans counties, it takes in lakeside towns that have been represented by veteran U.S. Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-Fairport. The lines around Slaughter have been moved east, so the seat is mostly Monroe County-based.
The new Congressional district map for New York State, drawn by a federal magistrate rather than the state redistricting task force, was approved by the U.S. District Court on Monday.