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Politics

Markosek gets nod in 25th District

| Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2002

Now that Joseph F. Markosek has been re-elected and is set to begin his 21st year in the state House, he says he can turn his attention to the issues at hand.

The Democratic House veteran Tuesday maintained his stance that property tax reform is chief among the issues facing his district.

Markosek, 52, of Monroeville, Allegheny County, easily defeated Republican Paul Fero to retain the House seat representing the 25th District. With 49 of 51 precincts reporting, Markosek had received 12,367 votes, while Fero received 5,612.

The bulk of the 25th District is in Allegheny County: Monroeville, Trafford, Pitcairn, Wall and parts of Plum and North Versailles Township. The district also includes Murrysville in Westmoreland County.

Reduced state education funding has forced school districts to raise local property taxes, and lawmakers have heard the complaints, especially from those on fixed incomes, Markosek said.

"I think it's going to be the top issue on the minds of all of my colleagues when we get sworn in in January," he said. "We now have a clear message from the voting population of what they want done. It's our job to go up to Harrisburg and do it."

Fero, 37, of Monroeville, was taking his first stab at political office. The assistant vice president/controller at Mellon Financial saw many benefits from a campaign during which he spent just $750.

"Considering what I've spent and the amount of time I was able to put into it, it hasn't been too bad," Fero said. "I had a number of voters come up to me and thank me just for running. It's nice that people appreciate that someone steps up to the plate and runs."

This race will not be Fero's last venture into politics, he said.

"I'll definitely be going again," Fero vowed. "What race that may be is uncertain, but I'm not going away."

Markosek obviously was thrilled with the chance to start a third decade in the state House.

"I'm extremely proud and flattered by the support I've received from my constituents this term, as well as the previous ones," Markosek said. "I consider this job an honor, but I also realize that I'm only as good as what I do in the future."

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