Elliot Howsie

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh community advocates want Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald to conduct a national candidate search for the county’s next top public defender -- and Fitzgerald says he probably will.

Elliot Howsie, the current chief public defender for the county, was confirmed to a judicial post on the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas on Tuesday.

Courtesy of Allegheny County

Governor Tom Wolf has nominated Allegheny County's Chief Public Defender, Elliot Howsie, for an appointment to the Common Pleas Court, according to a statement from Howsie’s judicial campaign.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny County's top public defender announced Friday he's running for judge. Elliot Howsie said he will compete for a seat on the county’s Court of Common Pleas in this year’s election.

At a campaign kickoff at the Allegheny County Courthouse, the attorney touted his experience both as a prosecutor and in criminal defense. A former assistant district attorney, Howsie became the first African-American to serve as chief public defender in Allegheny County in 2012.