MIFFLINTOWN - Mifflintown attorney Randall Zimmerman has agreed to run as the Democratic candidate for Juniata County district attorney in the fall election, according to a letter Zimmerman submitted to The Sentinel.
Zimmerman received 125 write-in votes for the Democratic nomination in the May election, election officials in Juniata County reported. Current District Attorney Cory Snook ran unopposed and secured the Republican nomination.
"I am grateful for the support," Zimmerman said in his letter, emphasizing that he did not seek or authorize his candidacy.
Zimmerman, a Republican, said he decided to accept the nomination after discussing the issue with his wife, children and trusted friends.
One of the reasons the attorney gave for running was a chance to give back to the community by providing "the same competent and zealous representation I have tried to give my clients for 32 years."
He said he also hopes to improve the criminal justice system specific areas. A district attorney should be the chief law enforcement officer in the county who provides leadership to law enforcement agencies in the area, he said.
His other reason for running is because of the Juniata County Republican Committee's "unacceptable" recent politicalization of the district attorney position, Zimmerman said.
He said the office has been used as "political reward for friendship with and the political support of (Rep. Adam Harris, R-Mifflintown,) and others. At 57 years of age, I have yet to run for or hold office and have no experience at running a campaign or playing the political game," Zimmerman said. "I always thought the office of district attorney should be entirely non-political."
Therefore, Zimmerman said, he will not seek public endorsement or accept campaign contributions.
He asked voters to speak with local people who are associated with the criminal justice system to become more informed about the responsibilities of the district attorney.
Zimmerman has been practicing law for 32 years in Juniata and Mifflin counties. He described his legal practice as varied and busy. His experience includes numerous criminal trials and work for a short period as an assistant district attorney.
Zimmerman also promised that he will not neglect his clients during the campaign and will continue to put them first.
He is a graduate of Juniata High School, Penn State University and Hamline University School of Law. He and his wife have been married for 35 years, and they have three children.