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Davis, Bellavia begin collecting signatures for special election ballot

   Representatives of two potential independent candidates for the 26th Congressional District -- Jack Davis and David Bellavia -- have begun collecting designating petition signatures for the seat vacated by Republican Chris Lee.

   Aides to Davis were spotted at a local supermarket, while Bellavia gave the strongest sign to date that he will attempt to make the ballot by indicating he is also collecting signatures.

   "I'm out there," Bellavia said.

   Candidates seeking a spot on the ballot must collect 3,500 signatures over the next 12 days, according to state election law. Davis has said he will pay workers to collect the signatures as part of the $3 million he has pledged to spend, and has retained former East Aurora Mayor David J. DiPietro to assist his effort.

   Bellavia has said he is relying on a network of tea party and veterans organizations activists.

   Election experts note that collecting valid signatures for an independent line is not as complicated as qualifying for primary or general election ballots, since party affiliation is not an issue.

  -- Robert J. McCarthy

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Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

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Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

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Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

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Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | [email protected]

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