Ex FBI special agent seeks 13th District seat

Retired FBI special agent Todd Rowley is seeking the Democratic nomination for the 13th Con­gressional District, challenging Saint Francis University professor Brent Ottaway.

“Citizens need to know I am representing them and not beholden to special interest groups or lobbyists,” Rowley said, commenting on his dedication to public service.

“Elected officials cannot address issues without true commitment and without finding common ground,” he said. “We have to put the American people above party politics.”

If elected, Rowley said some of the issues he would like to address include the opioid epidemic, protection of Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, funding for public and private education, environmental protections and support for the military and veterans.

Republicans bidding for the district seat (formerly the 9th District) are retired Army Col. Douglas Mastri­ano, engineer Travis Schooley, Somerset County farmer Max Merrill, businessman Art Halvorson, state Rep. Stephen Bloom and state Sen. John H. Eichelberger Jr.

Rowley works as a substitute teacher in the area school districts and as a park ranger at Linn Run State Park. He coached Little League in Mount Pleasant and was a PIAA baseball umpire for the Somerset County chapter.

As an FBI agent, Rowley served in both the counterintelligence and counterterrorism divisions, working in both Jackson, Fla., and Washington, D.C., Prior to his 24 years at the FBI, Rowley was a police officer in Ocean City, Md., before becoming a trooper flight paramedic for the Maryland State Police.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Washington College in 1986.

Rowley grew up in Cumberland, Md., in a single parent household with his sister.

He currently resides in Jones Mills in West­more­land County with his wife.

On Thursday, Rowley will host a nomination petition signing event and public meet and greet from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Altoona Area Public Library.

Mirror Staff Writer Shen Wu Tan is at 946-7457.