Republican hopeful David Bellavia speaks during a press conference at Geneseo's Highland Park
27th District Congressional Primary
Bellavia campaign makes ‘whistle-stop’ at old depot
On Tuesday, with exactly one week to go before Republicans choose a 27th district congressional nominee in the national primary election, candidate David Bellavia made a 25 minute appearance in Geneseo, lashing at his opponent Chris Collins’ “Erie County political machine.”
Bellavia described that machine as “miles away from our neighborhood; we’re a million mile apart from the way we [in Genesee, Livingston and other rural district counties] think, act and conduct ourselves.”
In a now highly-heated campaign, Bellavia reported, “We’re not putting our money into polling. We putting it into getting out there and talking to people. In these parts it’s about people and knocking on doors.”
The County News asked Bellavia, aside from his honorable record of service as a soldier, what would define him in Congress as a representative distinct from a Chris Collins?
“As a conservative Republican, we truly need to be unapologetic about where we stand,” he answered. “You can’t ask someone for their vote and then not explain where you are on issues.”
Bellavia advised that he can draw a very great and definitive contrast between his and Collins’ stances on social conservatism, on gun control, and on Collins’ much touted fiscal conservatism.
“Collins reputation in balancing the Erie County budget was achieved with Obama stimulus money — which is now debt for all Americans — hardly the principle of a fiscal conservative,” Bellavia suggested, adding, “Government is not suppose to be playing IOU games.”
The News then questioned Bellavia, assuming he wins on June 26, and aside from traditional Democratic-Republican ideological stances — what will contrast his platform with that of Kathy Hochul?
“I believe I am the only shot the Republicans have for beating Representative Hochul,” Bellavia first noted, while conceding he will face a tough contest against a sitting member of Congress — “a good politician who understands people and who is actually going to get the NRA endorsement.”
“The way we are going to beat her is to outwork her, to shake more hands, and to identify who we are,” Bellavia said. “That failure to identify ourselves was the downfall of the Corwin campaign, but not the mistake I’m going to make.”
“I am letting everyone who I am and what my plan is — and not be worried about Representative Hochul. I’ll run a race for myself, not against her. The Erie County political machine doesn’t have that in their vocabulary. Instead, they have their B-52s already lined up — and it will backfire again this time.”
“We can’t repeat the Republican stance, or rather non-stance in the Medicare debate which surrounded the Corwin-Hochul contest. We need solutions to Medicare now, not politically expedient rhetoric.”
“I’m giving solutions. My opponent is giving excuses.”
“I’m still looking for what my opponent stands for. I only know what he’s against.”
“At the end of the day I’m going to be respected for who I am, where I stand, and the consistency of my principles.”
We pointed out that, as a candidate, Bellavia has devoted significantly more discussion to foreign policy questions than has Collins.
“Domestic policy has affected our foreign policy. Debt, not socialism, is killing Democracies across the world,” Bellavia observes, then asks, “Would we need soldiers anywhere overseas if there weren’t this giant bank account terrorist can dig into to fund their actions?”
Bellavia admits to being offended by the label of ‘pro war.’
“Nobody is pro-war,” he asserted.
“I believe in peace through overwhelming strength. But we’re losing our strength and swagger just randomly going into areas.”
“If we are there to nation-build across the world, we need to end that involvement tomorrow. We need to build our own nation here. We’re not going to construct a middle class in Afghanistan while fighting tribes and drug smugglers.”
Bellavia is not, however, offended by the ‘Pollyanna’ label.
“Let people say I have a Pollyanna approach,” he said. “I back it up with intestinal fortitude.”