Margie Brown

ST. MARYS — Margie Brown has announced her candidacy for the Pennsylvania State Senate in the 25th District.

Brown, 51, is seeking the Democratic nomination. She expects to challenge incumbent Joe Scarnati in the 2020 general election.

“Our small towns in rural Pennsylvania are desperate for representation in the state senate. We cannot afford to settle for a politician who is beholden to corporate PACs and lobbyists when we have an industry-created healthcare crisis, small farms losing their supply chains, and a declining quality of life,” Brown said. “Voters in rural areas worry about things like paying their bills, putting food on the table, and getting their kids off to a good start. I know this as fact from the many I years I have worked with the public.”

A former public school teacher, Brown is currently serving on St. Marys City Council while working as a half-time broadcast communications professor at University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

Brown has also worked as a journalist. She asserts that in both government and journalism, transparency is a key value.

“Even when I worked in broadcast journalism, I felt I was working in education. There were things that people wanted to learn, and I tried very hard to provide the best and most complete reports,” she said. “I felt that journalism was a kind of public service, and I am attracted to public service.”

Brown said she was always encouraged by her parents to volunteer and serve in her community through student programs, later joining the board of the Victims Resource Center in McKean County at age 21. While teaching, she worked as an unpaid extracurricular advisor of student programs to educate youth on the dangers of addiction and drug abuse. “These were not just programs to educate, but to use social learning theory to implement positive peer modeling by teens to younger students,” she said.

Brown was born in Potter County, raised in McKean County, and has resided in Elk County since 2012. “That’s three of the eight counties in the district, to which I feel intimately connected,” she said. “Since moving, I have spent time connecting with people and businesses in the other five counties, many of which are a bit closer now.”

Brown will be hosting a petition-signing event at the Bradford Area Public Library at 6 p.m. Jan. 29, kicking off a grass-roots effort to make Pennsylvania State Senate’s 25th District politically relevant.

“In our district, we have more of a succession than an election. It’s a shame,” Brown said. “We have no primary challenges to promote the best possible candidates, and people vote straight ticket instead of examining their needs and determining who should represent them in the senate. That must change.”