(WHTM) – Former Republican Delaware County District Attorney Katayoun “Kat” Copeland has joined the race for Pennsylvania Attorney General.

The daughter of an Iranian mother and American father, Copeland has been a prosecutor for 30 years and served as the Chief of the Criminal Division in the United States Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Copeland was elevated to District Attorney of Delaware County in 2018 after Jack Whelan was elected Judge on the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County. She lost the 2019 general election to Jack Stollsteimer by less than 5,400 votes.

“As Attorney General I am going to put my experience to work every day to protect Pennsylvanians and their families,” said Copeland in her campaign announcement. “I’m going to prioritize and provide safety and security to our families in our homes, neighborhoods, workplaces, and schools. I’m going to aggressively investigate and prosecute anyone who tries to sell drugs in our state – there will be zero tolerance for those who peddle deadly heroin and fentanyl into our communities,” declared Copeland.

Copeland also served as Assistant United States Attorney in the National Security and Cybercrimes Unit of the Department of Justice.

Her father was an employee of Westinghouse and was arrested on espionage charges and became the first American put on trial in Iran’s Revolutionary Court, according to the Copeland campaign.

Copeland is the second Republican to publicly declare their candidacy for Attorney General, joining York County District Attorney Dave Sunday.

Democrats Eugene DePasquale, Joe Khan, Keir Bradford-Grey, and Jared Solomon each declared their candidacies earlier this year to replace Michelle Henry, who is not running after filling the remainder of Josh Shapiro’s term.

While the 2024 primary election date remains uncertain, the general election will be held on Nov. 5, 2024.