A Democrat has announced his bid to unseat U.S. Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, a task many party leaders in the district were unsure who would take on until now. Democrat Bill Marx, of Delmont, announced his campaign in the 14th District Monday.
“l’ve always been brought up that if something needs to be done and nobody is doing it, you should step up and do it yourself,” Marx said Tuesday. “I care passionately about good government.”
Marx, 43, teaches U.S. history, government and civics at Taylor Allderdice High School in Squirrel Hill. He is a 16-year veteran of the U.S. military, a third-generation union member, and is vice president of the Delmont Borough Council.
Numbers show Democrats have an uphill battle in the district, which includes Westmoreland, Fayette, and Greene counties, as well as Washington County. After the state Supreme Court required congressional seats to be redrawn in 2018, the 14th became more conservative, and Reschenthaler beat out Democrat Bibiana Boerio by 15 percentage points to take the district. Marx knows the political geography well. He worked as a coordinator for Fair Districts PA, which has sought to create a less partisan system for drawing distrit boundaries.
“It’s very conservative, but it’s also full of working class families, full of veterans,” he said of the 14th district. “My campaign is going to be a voice for working families, veterans, seniors, all those groups that have really continued to struggle under [the Trump] administration, that the current congressman supports.”
Reschenthaler serves on the House Judiciary Committee, where he has been a vocal defender of President Donald Trump during the House impeachment investigation.
“You can go on Fox News almost any day and see him on there," Marx said.
Before being elected to Congress, Reschenthaler served as a state senator, district judge, and as a Navy lawyer. Marx said he believes there are too many lawyers in Congress.
“People are frustrated, and they want a change,” he said. “Being a parent, being a teacher... I can be that voice for them in Washington. We have too many lawyers down there, we need more teachers, we need more scientists and people like that to step up and run for these offices.”
Marx submitted his campaign FEC paperwork Monday, and has yet to submit any campaign finance reports. He said his immediate plans include gathering signatures in order to get his name on the ballot, but he plans to keep teaching as he campaigns.
"This is a great lesson in a civics class: Why would I stop teaching when I could bring all this in and teach it to my civics students?" he said. "I already have a lesson plan designed about the whole FEC filing and everything I had to do ... it's a great way for them to learn."