Two Russellville lawyers have announced that they will be running to be the next Commonwealth Attorney for the 7th Judicial Circuit during next year’s general election.

Justin Crocker, who is currently serving as the Appointed Special Prosecutor for the 7th Judicial Circuit, and Neil Kerr, the Russellville City Attorney, both said late last week that they will be running for Commonwealth Attorney.

Crocker has served as the Assistant Commonwealth Attorney from November 2011 until October of this year, prosecuting felony offenses for the 7th Judicial Circuit, which includes both Logan and Todd Circuit Courts. When current Commonwealth attorney Gail Guiling was indicted on organized crime and other charges last month, Crocker was appointed by the Kentucky Attorney General to fulfill Guiling’s duties while she is unable to do so because of the indictment.

“I am running for Commonwealth’s Attorney to apply the experience that I have gained as the Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney to continue to serve the citizens of Logan and Todd Counties by taking a hard stance on violent crimes such as thefts, assaults, sexual offenses, home invasions, and homicides while balancing the need for punishment versus treatment on drug related offenses in an effort to combat the opioid and methamphetamine epidemics that are plaguing our communities,” Crocker said.

Kerr has served as the attorney for the city of Russellville since October of 2010. Prior to that, he worked in two law firms - Dillingham, Ritchie & Petrie in Elkton and Morgan & Williams in Russellville. He opened his own law office the same month he became city attorney in order to avoid any potential conflicts of interest.

“I have dedicated my entire career to serving the citizens and families of Logan County and Todd County,” said Kerr. “Now I am prepared to continue serving those same folks as their next Commonwealth’s Attorney. My promise is to relentlessly pursue justice and fairness in every single case. I look forward to earning the trust and support of each community served by the Commonwealth’s Attorney in this area.”

Prior to working as Assistant Commonwealth Attorney, Crocker was a staff attorney with the Department of Public Advocacy from May of 2008 to November of 2011, providing criminal defense to indigent juveniles and defendants in Logan and Todd District and Circuit Courts. He was also a victim advocate for Barren River Area Safe Space from January of 2006 to March of 2008, providing legal advocacy and support to victims of domestic violence.

Both Kerr and Crocker graduated from high school in the same year - 1997. Kerr graduated from Russellville High School and Crocker graduated from Logan County High School.

Kerr went on to get an undergraduate degree from Lipscomb University in Nashville and a law degree from the University of Kentucky law school. After graduating law school, he spent a year as clerk under Circuit Judge Tyler Gill.

Crocker went to the University of Kentucky for his undergraduate degree and then attended law school and received his law degree from the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va.

Crocker is married to Kristi Lynn Crocker. The couple has three children. He continues to work on the family dairy farm in Middleton.

Kerr is married to Emily Darden Kerr and they have one son.