Senator Howard Marklein was raised on a dairy farm in rural Spring Green.  He is the oldest of five children. Howard graduated from River Valley High School in Spring Green in 1972.  

Howard graduated from UW-Whitewater in 1976 with a BBA in accounting. After graduation from college, Howard worked for First Wisconsin National Bank of Milwaukee (now US Bank). In 1978, he was recruited by Virchow Krause (now Baker Tilly) and began his public accounting career in the Dodgeville office.

Howard accepted a promotion and transfer to the Whitewater and Fort Atkinson offices of Virchow Krause in 1980. He was promoted to partner in the firm in 1984. In recent years, his practice has been focused on the forensic accounting area and white collar crime investigations. He is also credentialed as a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE).

Howard is married to Peggy, a registered nurse. Howard is the father of Nicole and William, and three stepchildren.

Senator Marklein was first elected to the State Assembly in 2010. While in the State Assembly, he served as the Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Ways & Means and the Vice-Chair of the Joint Audit Committee. During his time as a state representative, he authored multiple bills to reduce regulatory burden on businesses and promote honest budgeting. Along with his colleagues in the State Assembly, he authored a constitutional amendment to require the state budget be prepared on the basis of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).

Senator Marklein was elected to the State Senate in 2014. In the State Senate, he currently serves on the Joint Committee on Finance, the Chairman of the Financial Institutions, Revenue, & Rural Issues Committee, the Labor & Government Reform Committee, the Vice-Chair of the Transportation & Veteran Affairs Committee, and the Joint Survey Committee on Retirement Systems.