New Kensington attorney Nicole Ziccarelli, 39, has announced her candidacy for Westmoreland County district attorney.
Ziccarelli, a Republican, recently fell 69 votes short of ousting Sen. Jim Brewster, D-Allegheny/Westmoreland, in last November’s election. The race featured various lawsuits seeking to disqualify ballots that helped Brewster win.
She conceded on Jan. 12.
Now, she will run against six-term incumbent John Peck in the upcoming November election.
She said her goal is to rebuild the District Attorney’s office by establishing transparency and communication both internally and with the residents of Westmoreland County, aggressively addressing the spike in the drug epidemic, building relationships between law enforcement and our communities, and strengthening the Veterans Court.
“I will be a visible district attorney, focussed on managing a team of the best trained prosecutors and detectives,” she said. “I will always protect victims of crime, follow the law as each case dictates, and establish an open door policy for victims and advocates engaged in the criminal justice system. I will pursue justice as I have over the last 16 years of my career.
“Our current district attorney has served in this office since 1994. Our county has changed dramatically since then and it’s time this office reflects us all in 2021.”
Ziccarelli said she would bring diverse experience to the District Attorney’s office.
She has served in the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Crimes Persons Unit. She worked as a criminal defense attorney and then served as law clerk to Westmoreland County Court of Common Pleas Judge Christian F. Scherer.
In private practice, she represents parents and grandparents in custody matters, many of whom struggle with addiction, and also serves as a family mediator for divorce. Ziccarelli has been honored to be appointed as a guardian ad litem by Westmoreland County judges to represent the best interests of minor children.
“I have proven myself as a champion for the rule of law,” she said. “As a mother of four children, I will fight to protect our communities with fresh, vibrant leadership. I look at the role of District Attorney as not only our chief prosecutor and law enforcement officer, but as an active leader in the community. I will support our heroes in law enforcement, advocate for all victims and become a resounding voice in the fight against crime in our communities. Westmoreland County’s current district attorney is simply behind the times and leads a splintered office that is in dire need of new leadership.”
She said over the past year, district attorneys across the Commonwealth have stood up to Gov. Tom Wolf’s “outrageous use of law enforcement to enforce his arbitrary health edicts and business-killing shutdown orders.”
“Meanwhile, our district attorney has been silent,” she said. “When our freedoms are under assault by an out-of-control governor, I won’t be silent.”
Nicole and her husband, Frank-John, are raising their four children in Lower Burrell.
Ziccarelli is an active member of her community having served on the Advisory Board for Penn State New Kensington (PSNK), teaching as an Adjunct Instructor at PSNK, a member of the Westmoreland County Visionaries, a member of the Westmoreland County Bar Association, a court appointed guardian ad litem, a host or sponsor of annual benefits for our troops and law enforcement, and a member of the PTA in Burrell School District.