The race for the Republican nomination for district attorney in Cumberland County now features two candidates.
Current district attorney Skip Ebert announced Wednesday that he would seek the nomination in the May primary.
Ebert was appointed by a vote of the county’s common plea judges to fill the remainder of former District Attorney David Freed’s term, which ends in 2020. Freed was appointed by President Donald Trump to become the U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in 2017.
Cumberland County has only had two district attorneys for the past 20 years — Skip Ebert and David Freed.
Ebert served as district attorney from 1996 to 2006 when he was elected a judge in the Cumberland County Court of Common Pleas. He served 12 years as a county judge.
“I’ve worked most of my adult life to acquire the skills necessary to excel in the office of district attorney,” Ebert said in a written statement. “I’m a proven prosecutor.”
Prior to becoming district attorney in 1996, Ebert served as the executive deputy attorney general of the criminal law division for Pennsylvania and served in the U.S. Army from 1972 to 1977, earning the rank of captain.
Ebert touted his experience as both a judge and prosecutor and pointed to several accomplishments, such as helping to create a central criminal processing center, a county forensic crime lab and a crime-victim assistance unit.
If elected, Ebert said he plans to create an elder abuse task force, provide domestic violence victims with emergency help in filing for protection from abuse orders and “investigation of all overdose deaths in order to charge drug dealers with the crime of drug delivery resulting in death.”
Charged cases of drug delivery resulting in death nearly doubled between 2017 and 2018, the year Ebert took office.
Ebert joins former Cumberland County first assistant district attorney Jaime Keating in seeking the Republican nomination.
Keating, who now works as deputy district attorney in Franklin County, announced his intention to seek the nomination Friday.