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Minor candidates make presence known in race for Lee's old seat

Today was a day for minor party candidates to weigh in to the developing race for the vacancy in the 26th Congressional District, with Tea Party candidate Jack Davis leading the way.

Davis, who has promised to spend $3 milion of his own money in his fourth bid for the seat, said he will not contest the designating petitions of another minor party candidate -- David Bellavia. He called on Republican Jane L. Corwin, a Clarence assemblywoman, to also refrain from challenging the efforts of the Batavia veteran of the Iraq War to qualify for the ballot.

"David Bellavia has more than earned his place on the ballot," Davis said. "The Jack Davis campaign will not challenge the nominating petitions David Bellavia has filed. Jane Corwin should do the same.

"The Corwin campaign should stop trying to keep David Bellavia off the ballot," he said. "She should do the right thing, and, as our campaign does, respect David’s defense of democracy and respect the wishes of the people of this district to have a fair and open election."

The Corwin campaign did not immediately respond to the Davis challenge, while a spokesman for Democrat Kathleen C. Hochul said she has no plans to challenge the petitions.

Bellavia, meanwhile, who has applied for his own line for the May 24 special election, issued one of his first public comments of the campaign by questioning the U.S. military role in Libya.

"When a president is so detached from vital world affairs, so intent on fiddling while the Middle East burns, I know it is time to act. We need a House of Representatives that will push President Obama even harder to lead -- not follow -- in global affairs," Bellavia siad.

"My opponents Jane Corwin and Kathy Hochul have been silent on foreign policy, perhaps because they have never traveled to another country except as tourists. I have seen the world as it really is, and I believe the United States should lead the world’s democracies in supporting freedom and democracy in Libya and other Middle Eastern nations," he added. "We should be helping Libyan citizens remove the brutal Qaddafi regime, but we cannot stop there. We need to ensure that after Qaddafi’s departure, adequate planning and resources are available to establish freedom and civil rights for the citizens of Libya."

--Robert J. McCarthy 

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