The event was billed as an opportunity for veterans to gather and celebrate the killing of Osama Bin Laden, but it also gave Bellavia the chance to to tell veterans that their votes in the May 24 special election could make the difference in determining who takes Chris Lee's vacated seat in Congress.
Bellavia said Davis, who served in the Coast Guard and Marines, will give veterans an important advocate in Washington. "He's a guy who worked for what he has and I know where he stands," said Bellavia. Of the race to this point, he said, "All I'm hearing is negative ads, I don't know anything about any candidate, Jack is a guy who will tell you where he's at."
Davis, a one-time Democratic candidate, is running on the Tea Party line this time around. He said serving his country was the greatest thing he's ever done, and now he wants to serve by helping create jobs in Washington. He took umbrage with attacks from his opponents, Democrat Kathy Hochul and Republican Jane Corwin. One particular attack allies Davis with liberal Democrat Nancy Pelosi. "I've never been a liberal Democrat in my life, and they're lying about me because they can't compete with my business background or my knowledge of trade," he said.
Davis also announced Wednesday that he will not take participate in a televised debate with his opponents. "That media event was not important to me, it was more important that I get out and meet the people," he said.
There was no debating the importance of Wednesday's event in the mind of Bellavia. "I think they're going to realize that veterans are important, and we're going to get out the vote and it's going to put Jack over the top.," he said.
A Siena College poll from April 29 had Corwin leading Hochul 36 to 31, with Davis at 23 percent and Green Party candidate Ian Murphy with 5 percent. One Western New York political veteran believes Bellavia's endorsement of Davis pull the race into a dead heat, if veterans get out the vote.