CLOSING ARGUMENT: Joe Markley, Candidate for Lieutenant GovernorMay 9, 2018
The state senator is closing out his legislative career, but arguing he has the policy and political record to serve as the state's number-two official.
“I think I’ve got a strong record in Hartford as a fiscal conservative, as a supporter of constitutional rights, and [as] an advocate of what I consider to be core Republican principles,” State Sen. Joe Markley (R-Southington) told Reclaim Connecticut this week.
That’s Markley’s closing argument to delegates attending the CT GOP convention in Foxwoods this weekend. Delegates will choose to endorse a lieutenant gubernatorial candidate, and will have a choice between Markley, First Selectman Jayme Stevenson (R-Darien), and Erin Stewart running mate First Selectman Peter Tesei (R-Greenwich).
We checked in with Markley as part of Reclaim Connecticut’s ongoing “Closing Argument” series, where candidates competing at May’s statewide conventions – and, potentially, August’s primaries – have a chance to make their case to convention delegates and voters.
A candidate has to earn the support of 15 percent of the delegates at the convention to automatically qualify for the August primary. If he or she doesn’t hit 15 percent, they can petition their way onto the primary ballot, though it can be a long and expensive process. Whoever earns 50 percent of delegates’ votes, after any number of rounds of voting, wins the party endorsement.
“I expect that I’ll not only have 15 percent,” Markley said, “I’m confident about the 15 percent, and I expect to have 50 percent and win the nomination outright.”
But, the state senator cautioned, “there’s a lot of moving parts.”
“I think that I’ve demonstrated in this leadoff to the convention, in raising my money and in my presence throughout the state and the organization I have,” Markley said, that “I’ve got the crew together to be a help to the entire ticket.”
That includes the gubernatorial candidate, whom Markley would serve on a ticket with if he makes it through the August primary.
“I think we have an excellent field of candidates,” Markley said of the large gubernatorial field. “I’m not worried about any of them. I think we can win with any of the serious candidates we have.”
As for that fall matchup, Markley says he’s ready to distinguish himself from the Democrats.
“Well, the key is going to be to point out the continuity between the Democratic approach,” Markley said. He predicted the gubernatorial nominee will try “to run away from the record of Dan Malloy and the legislative leadership.”
It’s “a real contrast with what we believe and what they believe, with what we will do and what they have done,” Markley said. “I’ve been articulating that for eight years.”
“I have a history of working for the party throughout the state,” Markley said, “organizing volunteers” and raising “the money I need for this campaign.”
The state senator thinks he can recruit “a grassroots army” to elect Republicans statewide this fall.
Markley will be banking on that organization, and his experience as a conservative legislator, at the convention this Saturday and in the primary this summer.
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