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NY-26: Bellavia Won't Challenge Lee; Another Dem Enters Race for NY-26

by on May 30, 2008

Things continue to look good for Chris Lee to succeed Tom Reynolds as Republican David Ballavia, an Iraq war veteran, announced he would not challenge Chris Lee for the Republican nomination.

After more than a dozen Republicans expressed interest in succeeding Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds following his retirement announcement in March, Christopher J. Lee emerged as the last man standing Thursday when his sole remaining opponent said he would not run.

David Bellavia, who won the Silver Star in Iraq and wrote a book about his war experiences, told The Buffalo News he will not challenge Lee for the GOP nomination. He also ruled out talk of challenging Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, D-Fairport, for her seat in the adjacent 28th District, leaving the Republicans still without a candidate to challenge the veteran congresswoman.

“We had conversations about it, but the idea of running against her never came out of my mouth,” he said. “It was the thought of other people.”

But, on the Democrat side, a fourth has entered the race.

Bellavia’s withdrawal means the Republicans are unified behind Lee, while the Democratic field has grown to four contenders. Erie County Legislator Kathy Konst of Lancaster said this week she intends to run in the Democratic primary, which already includes Clarence businessman Jack Davis, Iraq War veteran and former substitute teacher Jon Powers, and Amherst attorney Alice J. Kryzan.

The National Journal’s Hotline blog recognizes the latest turn of events bodes well for GOP prospects for NY-26.

Four of NY’s six GOP seats could swing to Dems this fall. But one of those four, retiring Tom Reynolds’ (R) NY-26, looks less and less everyday like it belongs with those other three.

PoliticsNY.net even notes that favored Democrat chalenger Jon Powers “has no substantive support in the District” despite all the party endorsements he’s received.

The Hotline blog also reports that we may not have heard the last from Bellavia:

The party has also been working to clear the primary field of its only remaining candidate, and is trying to move Iraq vet David Bellavia (D) to the NY-28 race.

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From → Chris Lee, NY-26

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