Duquesne grad runs for state office

Courtesy of Brandon Markosek
Brandon Markosek aims to follow in his retiring father’s footsteps by running for a local Pennsylvania state House seat.
Courtesy of Brandon Markosek
Brandon Markosek aims to follow in his retiring father’s footsteps by running for a local Pennsylvania state House seat.

Raymond Arke | News Editor


As the 2018 midterm elections approach, more and more first-time candidates are running for national and state offices. One candidate for a local Pennsylvania state House seat is hoping to take his experience from his Duquesne education to Harrisburg.

Brandon Markosek, a 2015 graduate of Duquesne with majors in political science and history, is running to be the state representative for the 25th District, as a Democrat. The 25th is comprised of Monroeville, East McKeesport, East Pittsburgh and parts of Plum among other localities.

Markosek is looking to replace his retiring father, Rep. Joseph Markosek (D-Monroeville), who has held the seat for over 35 years. Rep. Markosek is currently the Democratic chairman of the Pennsylvania House Appropriations Committee and was the Democratic chair of the Pennsylvania House Transportation Committee, according to his website.

Because of his father’s long career, Markosek felt inspired to take his place.

“I always had a desire for public service,” he said. “I knew it was something … [that was] in my DNA.”

Markosek’s desire to get involved led him to attend Duquesne.

“I chose Duquesne because of their department[s] of political science and history,” he said.

He fondly recalled the classes and professors he had in the political science department and said they helped him get where he is today.

“Dr. Lewis Irwin and Dr. Clifford Bob were just fantastic,” Markosek said. “One of the best classes … was my capstone taught by Dr. Irwin. It was hands-on.”

When asked, Bob remembered Markosek and had kind words to say.

“Brandon is a great example of Duquesne political science students putting their training into action,” he said. “Our graduates are making a difference through their civic engagement at the local, national and international levels.”

After graduating from Duquesne, Markosek went to the University of Pittsburgh, where he received a Master’s of Public Administration. He then went on to work as a community outreach representative for State Senator Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny/Westmoreland).

Markosek outlined the four major issues facing the constituents of the 25th as “public safety, senior care, jobs” and a focus on “all levels of education.”

Since he doesn’t face a primary opponent, Markosek has been preparing for his Nov. 6 general election matchup against Steve Schlauch.

Schlauch’s campaign website said that he can “be counted on to represent our Pro-Life [sic] and Pro-Second Amendment values in Harrisburg,” along with opposing new taxes, reforming the pension system and controlling state spending.

Schlauch did not respond to a request for comment.

Markosek has focused part of his campaign on working with social media, something he described as a “learning curve,” calling himself a “dinosaur” despite his relatively young age. He has also been hitting the streets of his community.

“I’ve been getting out and speaking to constituents,” Markosek said. “I want to listen to them and hear their views.”

He also wanted to leave some advice for current Duquesne students.

“Follow [your] dreams. Choose a path and go with it,” Markosek said.

He also advised them to vote and stay involved in the political process.

“Every vote counts. It’s [your] constitutional right,” Markosek said. “Don’t be afraid to call your state representative or state senator … they need to hear from students.”