U.S. Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia, Medal of Honor courted by GOP to run for Congress

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

GOP courts New York Medal of Honor recipient for Congress

July 10, 2019 - 8:15 am

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A group of western New York Republicans is courting Medal of Honor recipient David Bellavia (bell-uh-VEEH-uh) to run for Congress.

The Iraq War veteran ran in 2012 and lost to Rep. Chris Collins in the Republican primary. Now, Collins is facing trial on charges of money laundering and hasn't said yet whether he'll seek re-election next year. He's pleaded not guilty.

Bellavia supporters launched www.draftbellavia.com on Tuesday. Led by political consultant Michael Caputo, organizers say the campaign-style website is meant to show Bellavia the level of support for a possible candidacy.

Bellavia, who received the Medal of Honor from President Donald Trump last month, hasn't ruled out a run. But he's said he is not interested in using the award to bolster his chances of getting elected.