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A local attorney announced he will run to seek one of two Cumberland County judge seats in this year’s election.

Derek Clepper announced his candidacy Friday for the judgeship. He joins Cumberland County Register of Wills Lisa Grayson, first assistant district attorney Matt Smith and Camp Hill attorney Kirk Sohonage in running for one of the two seats.

Clepper said he is a lifelong resident of Cumberland County and graduated from Shippensburg University and Dickinson School of Law before starting his legal career in 2003 as a prosecuting attorney at the Cumberland County Domestic Relations Office.

Clepper was sworn in as senior assistant district attorney in 2005 in Cumberland County, and has served as a community prosecutor for Shippensburg University and the Newville and Shippensburg police departments.

Clepper said he has also worked with a number of police departments, and has helped write guidelines and policy manuals in eight states, including Pennsylvania.

“I believe that my legal and civic experiences have prepared me to be the next judge of the court of common pleas,” he said in an announcement. “As judge, I will promote a restorative justice approach. I will focus on the victim, the defendant and the community. As I have throughout my career, I will be a public servant to the citizens of Cumberland County and remain committed to the cause of justice.”

He currently serves as a professor and director of the criminal justice program at the University of Valley Forge.

Cumberland County will have two open county judge seats in the 2019 election. One is a vacancy created after M.L. “Skip” Ebert was appointed the county district attorney, and the other is a new seat created due to the county’s growing population.

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