(ERIE, P.A. - WICU/WSEE/CW) –  Erie lawyer Pete Sala announced Friday he will be running for Erie County Judge.

He's hoping to fill one of 2 vacant seats on the nine-person bench.

He made his special announcement in the very same courtroom where he got his start as a law clerk in 1994. Sala has spent the last 24 years as a private practice lawyer, as well as the solicitor for the Erie County Sheriff's Department.

Sala received support from current Erie County Sheriff John Loomis and former sheriff Bob Merski.

"I want to take that experience I've had representing people over that period of time, 24 years and bring it to the bench of Erie County." Sala said "Private practice, you work long hours and I will bring that work ethic to the bench.

Sala now joins fellow Erie lawyer David Ridge and former Erie Mayor Joe Sinnott in the race.