Staff Sgt. David Bellavia will not run for New York's 27th Congressional District, Spectrum News' Ryan Whalen and Casey Bortnick confirmed on Sunday.
Bellavia released a statement Sunday, saying in part:
"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."
Bellavia had run three times before, but lost each time in a republican primary. He received the Medal of Honor back in June for his heroic acts during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Republican state Senators Chris Jacobs and Robert Ortt have filed to run for the seat, as has attorney Beth Parlato. Frank Smierciak II also announced his run earlier this month.
Democrat Nate McMurray will also challenge for the seat again after losing to Chris Collins last November. Collins resigned last month and pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit securities fraud and making false statements a few weeks ago.
Bellavia joined radio station WBEN in late 2012 as a fill-in host. In October 2016, he joined WBEN's Tom Bauerle as co-host of “Bauerle and Bellavia,” a drive time talk show in Buffalo.