A former congressional candidate popular with Tea Party activists has endorsed Independent Jack Davis in New York's 26th district special election race.

David Bellavia, an Iraq war veteran who sought the Republican and Conservative Party's nods earlier this year, called Davis "a decorated war hero and a true patriot."

His endorsement could cause trouble for Republican Jane Corwin. The GOP has sought to portray Davis as the second Democrat in the race. Bellavia's backing could help enhance his conservative credentials.

“Veterans in Western New York and voters of all stripes have one clear choice for Congress, and that is Jack Davis, a true independent who will work for the people as he caucuses with the Republicans in the House of Representatives," Bellavia said in a statement released by Davis's campaign.

The Weekly Standard notes that Bellavia slammed Davis for "playing politics with the troops" in a 2006 campaign ad. Davis was running as a Democrat against former Rep. Tom Reynolds (R) that year.