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Washington County Attorney's race has another candidate

A second candidate has entered the race to replace retiring Washington County Attorney Doug Johnson.

Peter Orput announced his candidacy Tuesday for Washington County Attorney in his hometown of Stillwater. Woodbury resident Clayton Robinson was the first to announce his candidacy for county attorney in July. The election will take place in 2010.

Orput was joined at his press conference at the Stillwater American Legion by Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman who said he supports Orput in his candidacy.

"Pete Orput has earned the respect of his colleagues, the police and the communities he supports," said Freeman, for whom Orput works as assistant county attorney. "His varied prosecutorial experience, excellent trial skills and commitment to justice set him apart from others. You can trust this former Marine to make a positive difference in Washington County."

Freeman's public support for Orput comes four months after Robinson received the public backing of Washington County Attorney Doug Johnson. Robinson officially entered the race with Johnson's endorsement just weeks after Johnson said he would not seek a fourth term as the county top lawyer.

Orput, a military veteran and one-time high school social studies teacher who served as an assistant in the Washington County Attorney's Office from 1990-1997, said at his press conference he is running for the seat because he feels his experience has prepared him for the job.

"The individual with the most experience and the best qualifications to lead the office, and do so in a cost-effective manner, should be elected the next Washington County Attorney," Orput said. "Over the coming months, I look forward to engaging with the residents of Washington County, addressing their concerns and explaining why I believe my successful record of public service makes me uniquely qualified for the position and deserving of their support."