Republican David Bellavia, an Iraq war veteran and Republican candidate who was passed over by the GOP county chairmen in favor of Jane Corwin as the nominee in New York's 26th Congressional District, indicated last night that he plans on endorsing Jack Davis, a former Democrat now running as a "Tea Party" candidate in NY-26.
"Jack is a veteran. Jack is a self-made man," Bellavia said in praise of Davis last night. But in 2006, when Davis was running as a Democrat against GOP congressman Tom Reynolds, Bellavia cut a harsh attack ad slamming Davis as no friend to U.S. troops in harm's way:
"The war divides us but everyone agrees we should honor the troops," Bellavia said in a TV ad for the Reynolds campaign. "Everyone but Jack Davis and his allies. Davis is playing politics with the troops and it's wrong."
Watch the ad here:
Bellavia did not immediately reply to a request for comment. He plans on making his endorsement at 6:00 p.m. tonight.
Update (9:19 a.m.): Asked if he regrets cutting this commercial, Bellavia writes: "No. He was wrong about Iraq. He was dead wrong. He is wrong about abortion. And that is what is beautiful about taking a stand."
Bellavia added: "I disagree with Jack on issues, but at least I know where he stands on them. Conservatives can not stoop to conquer. We are not a party of white trust fund babies. We are Allen West. We are Bobby Jindal. New York has lost that message. I am fighting to bring that message home. And those who wish to personally attack veterans. Saying things like, 'he went to war. Can we trust he won't snap?' That's what they did at Winter Soldier. I now step down from my soap box."
David Bellavia, a highly decorated Iraq war veteran, just sent out a note announcing his intention to run for the seat in New York's 26th Congressional District. In case you'd forgotten, this is the district vacated by Republican Chris Lee, who recently resigned after it was revealed that the married congressman was trolling for affairs on Craigslist.
As the co-founder of Vets for Freedom, Bellavia's been a stalwart advocate of conservative policies and his organization has spent millions helping elect Republicans. But the most interesting part of the note announcing his candidacy is the part where Bellavia discusses how he stood aside in 2008 at the behest of New York GOP bosses in order to let Lee have the GOP nomination:
In 2008, when I ran for this same nomination against the eventual Congressman, Chris Lee, I was faced with a golden opportunity. The Democrat front-runner was also a veteran, and we had the chance to truly bring the hard fought success of the Iraq War front and center into the national dialogue.
When Chris and I became the last two in Republicans in contention, I met with leaders of our Party and former Congressman Tom Reynolds. Together we decided what was best for the Party would be best for the district. It was "not my time" and I decided to bow out of a costly and bitter primary to allow Chris Lee a clear sail into the House of Representatives.