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A McKeesport city council member today formally announced her plans to seek the state House of Representatives seat currently held by White Oak's Marc Gergely.
V. Fawn Walker-Montgomery said she is running for the Republican nomination in the 35th District. The primary election is April 26.
The district includes McKeesport, Clairton, Duquesne, Lincoln Borough, Munhall, South Versailles Twp. (Coulter), Versailles Borough, Whitaker and White Oak, and parts of West Mifflin.
Walker-Montgomery's announcement had been expected; she said in October 2015 she intended to run for the 35th District seat this year. Candidates may begin circulating nomination petitions next Tuesday (Jan. 26) and can file their official nomination papers Feb. 17.
"The area is filled with crime, low economic and business development, hopelessness and high amounts of government corruption," Walker-Montgomery said Friday in a prepared statement. "This has divided us for too long. But if we can all come together --- across party, racial and gender lines --- we can bring hope, safety and prosperity to the 35th District."
Walker-Montgomery was elected to McKeesport City Council in 2009 and 2013 as a Democrat. She is a graduate of Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C., and in 2006 earned a master's degree in criminal justice administration from Point Park University.
Gergely was elected to the state House in 2002 to replace former state Rep. Tom Michlovic. He currently serves as deputy whip and is the only Democrat from Allegheny County to serve on the state House Labor Committee.
Prior to his election to the state House, he worked as a director of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh and was an employee of former state Sens. Albert V. "Buddy" Belan and Sean Logan. Gergely also served on the McKeesport Area School Board from 1996 to 2002.
Originally published January 22, 2016.