© 2023 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Donate Today Banner

Smierciak leads incumbent Wallace for 143rd Assembly seat

Frank Smierciak for Assembly
Republican challenger Frank Smierciak (center) at an Oct. 31 press briefing.

It looks as if Democratic incumbent Monica Wallace and Republican challenger Frank Smierciak will have to wait a while to see who will occupy that State Assembly seat representing Lancaster and Cheektowaga.

On Election Night, Smierciak had a 52-48% lead in the race for a perennially complicated state Assembly district. The kicker in this complicated year is that there are more than 11,000 mailed-in ballots that still have to be counted and it will be several days before that count starts.

Wallace said it is just too close to call and the mail votes are likely to skew Democratic, which clearly helps her re-election efforts.

Credit Monica Wallace for Assembly / Facebook
Democratic incumbent Monica Wallace poses with a "Child With Autism Area" sign, which she helped get authorized across New York State.

As a candidate, Smierciak had joined a state-wide Republican push in a law-and-order campaign aimed at Democratic criminal justice changes in the last two years.

"While my opponent would let the criminals go free, what she also supports is the Evidence Discovery Act, which puts the victims at risk," Smierciak said. "It puts their personal information, their addresses, their households on display for the criminals and the criminals themselves have the right to go through those houses and inspect the crime scene."

State Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy ran a strident law-and-order campaign, particularly against bail reform and new evidence rules, like those cited by Smierciak. Key to that is that they were never directly voted on, instead buried in state budget bills.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
Related Content