Construction firm owner joins race for Slate Belt district judge

A construction company owner has announced his plans to run for Slate Belt district judge. Tony Lupo (Courtesy photo)  Tony Lupo, 44, of Washington Township, will seek the post now held by Alicia Zito, who was appointed last July to the Bangor-area office...

Construction firm owner joins race for Slate Belt district judge

A construction company owner has announced his plans to run for Slate Belt district judge.

Tony Lupo (Courtesy photo) 

Tony Lupo, 44, of Washington Township, will seek the post now held by Alicia Zito, who was appointed last July to the Bangor-area office after the 2015 death of longtime District Judge Todd Strohe.

Lupo, a Republican, said he intends to cross-file to run on both the Democratic and Republican tickets in the May 16 primary election.

He holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Shippensburg University and said he has attained the required certification to be a district judge from the Minor Judiciary Education Board.

Lupo grew up in Milton, Pa., and worked as a state constable. Since relocating to the Slate Belt in 2007, he said, he has operated Custom Elite Builders.

His experience as a small business owner has given him strong leadership, work ethic and problem-solving skills that he said are useful in a district judge's job.

"The district magisterial court is the people's court," he said in a statement. "The people's court should be represented by a citizen that more closely resembles the people of the area it is to serve."  

Lupo said he believes judges should avoid politics and taking campaign contributions. For that reason, he said, his campaign will be self-funded.

"A judge cannot be impartial if they're taking money from citizens in a community to run a campaign," he said. "Accepting financial donations threatens the integrity of the position."

Lupo and wife Lori have three children.

Jim Deegan may be reached at jdeegan@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow him on Twitter @jim_deegan. Find lehighvalleylive on Facebook.

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