Erie County Democrats tonight overwhelmingly endorsed County Legislator Patrick B. Burke as their candidate in the 142nd Assembly District.

“We need an effective, independent voice for the people of the 142nd District, and I’ve proven myself to be both in the county legislature,” said Burke, who will challenge Erik Bohen, a Democrat backed by Republicans after being refused the Democratic endorsement in a special April election.

The seat was left vacant when former Assemblyman Michael Kearns was elected county clerk last November, also with Republican endorsement despite being a Democrat.

“Right now, we have someone who compromised his principles simply to get elected and who has no ability to accomplish anything for our community. That will change after November,” Burke said.

“Pat Burke has deep roots in this district, and he understands the challenges its working families face every day,” Democratic Chair Jeremy J. Zellner said.

The 142nd Assembly District includes South Buffalo, part of the City of Lackawanna, and the towns of West Seneca and Orchard Park.

Burke, who was born and raised in South Buffalo, was first elected to the Erie County Legislature in 2013. His accomplishments include the state’s first municipal ban on the use of cosmetic microbeads that produce as much as 90 percent of Lake Erie’s new plastic pollutant, and the establishment of the Erie County Broadband Network to oppose cable company monopolies and protect net neutrality.

Burke’s community service began at age 21 with the formation of a not-for-profit neighborhood revitalization effort in South Buffalo. A graduate of Buffalo State College, he has also worked for the United Way of Buffalo, Americorps, and Buffalo’s Gaelic American Athletic Association.

He and his wife, Shannon, have three children.