Carroll lawyer Alan Benyak has thrown his hat into the ring for a soon-to-be-vacated seat in the 49th Legislative District.
Mr. Benyak, 52, is the first Democrat to announce his intention to seek the seat being vacated by state Rep. Peter J. Daley, D-California, who intends to retire this year after 17 terms in office.
The district includes portions of the Mon Valley in Fayette and Washington counties.
Mr. Benyak has a private practice and serves as solicitor in Charleroi and for the Municipal Authority of Belle Vernon.
"I have lived, worked and served the residents of this district throughout my life," Mr. Benyak said in a statement. "I am honored that people whom I respect have asked me to run because they believe I can be a strong advocate for our interests in Harrisburg."
Mr. Benyak served four years in the U.S. Army on active duty and eight years in the Army reserves before leaving the military to start a private practice.
"I was honored to serve my country and my fellow military personnel as a lawyer, and I am proud to have built a successful law practice. My background gives me a mature, reasonable approach to public policy that I think we need in the state house," Mr. Benyak said.
A graduate of Southmoreland Senior High School, Mr. Benyak earned a bachelors degree in political science from Waynesburg University in 1985, followed by a law degree from Capital University in 1988.
Representing Republicans in the Apr. 26 Primary will be small businessman Bud Cook of West Pike Run and Melanie Stringhill Patterson, a small business owner and entrepreneur from Washington Township, Fayette County.