Attorney Monica Wallace officially announced her candidacy for the 143rd District Assembly seat Monday, but a match-up against incumbent Conservative Angela M. Wozniak is not yet a given.
Wallace, a University at Buffalo Law School professor, will have to face Cheektowaga Councilman James P. Rogowski first in a Democratic primary.
Her entry into the race guarantees a major intraparty contest as well as a competitive general election in November.
“I am running for Assembly because I have the experience and ethics to represent our community and move this district forward,” Wallace said.
“We need leaders in Albany who will work hard and act with integrity. As a mother, educator and lawyer in this community, I am committed to restoring the public’s confidence in their leaders.”
Wallace, 47, previously served as confidential law clerk to a federal district judge in Buffalo and teaches at UB Law School, where she received her law degree.
She earned her undergraduate degree at Binghamton University.
She resides in Lancaster with her husband, John, and their two children: Jack, 15, and Claire, 12.
She is a member of the Women’s Bar Association and formerly served on the Lancaster YMCA Board.
Wozniak was elected to the seat in 2014 after Democratic Assemblyman Dennis H. Gabryszak resigned early in the year amid allegations of sexually harassing staff members.
She emerged as the first non-Democrat since Republican Alan J. Justin of Cheektowaga in 1972 to claim the seat held by such notable past Assembly members as Dennis T. Gorski and Paul A. Tokasz.
The 143rd District includes the towns of Cheektowaga and Lancaster and the Village of Depew.