New York Medal of Honor recipient won't run for Congress

New York Medal of Honor recipient won't run for Congress
FILE - In this Tuesday, June 25, 2019, file photo, Medal of Honor recipient Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia speaks to media outside the West Wing of the White House in Washington, after receiving the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry while serving in support of Operation Phantom Fury in Fallujah, Iraq. Bellavia says he will not run for the 27th Congressional District seat recently vacated by Chris Collins. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Medal of Honor recipient David Bellavia (bell-uh-VEEH-uh) says he will not run for the 27th Congressional District seat recently vacated by Chris Collins.

In a statement Sunday, Bellavia said he has “a new responsibility to the U.S. Army.” He said he plans on “traveling the country, as an ambassador for Western New York, educating and influencing future soldiers and fellow citizens, as well as training and advising military leadership.”

The Iraq War veteran ran in 2012 and lost to Collins in the Republican primary. Collins pleaded guilty in an insider trading case earlier this month and resigned from Congress. An effort to recruit Bellavia to run had been underway for months.

Bellavia left the Army in 2005. He is the first living Iraq veteran to receive the Medal of Honor.