EXCLUSIVE: Joe Markley is on a Mission … to Unify the GOPJanuary 10, 2018
The state senator and candidate for lieutenant governor is looking ahead to a busy 2018, in which he'll try to help fix the budget and be elected to the second-highest office in the state.
“Strengthen the Republican Party,” “recruit candidates,” “support town committees.”
When Reclaim Connecticut asked State Senator Joe Markley (R-Southington) what’s on his agenda for 2018, strengthening and unifying the Republican Party in Connecticut made it near the top of his list.
“I’ve always thought that the number-one thing that that job [of lieutenant governor] enables you to do is to build the party,” Markley added.
Reclaim Connecticut checked in with Markley as the calendar turns to 2018, which could be the biggest year of Markley’s career. He is one of 18 Republicans in the state senate, and could also be on ballots statewide in November, if he becomes the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor (LG).
BUILDING “A VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION”
Markley said his campaign for LG is “going great.”
“I feel more enthusiastic and optimistic about it than ever,” Markley said.
“We completed the fundraising. We raised the $75,000 required for the Citizens’ Election Program.” This, Markley added, will allow him to move on to the “more critical part … putting together a volunteer organization.”
Why? To elect “the whole Republican slate,” Markley said.
LOVE FOR THE GOV?
Markley is a unique position, given he is, so far, the only major Republican candidate in the LG race. The position above him, the governor’s office, has more than a dozen credible Republican candidates.
Reclaim Connecticut asked Markley if who comes out of that scrum matters to him or his campaign.
“My goal is to be part of a victorious ticket, and I am 100% on board with whoever this party nominates,” Markley responded.
“IT’S TIME TO FACE THE FACTS”
Reclaim Connecticut also asked Markley about his legislative duties, ahead of what is to be a difficult and contentious 2018 session.
“The budget and the whole tax and spend, that question, is the whole issue right now,” Markley said, citing his 2010 campaign slogan of “it’s time to face the facts.”
But Markley warned that doing nothing to entice businesses to come, and stay, in Connecticut, would be a mistake.
“What we need to do is worry less about the deficit and worry more about what we can do to spur business,” Markley said. He called talk of tax cuts “probably very intelligent talk.”
“Unless we have economic growth, at this point there’s no way to solve our problems.”
“GOOD JUDGMENT” ON CUTS
On the spending side, it should be no surprise that Markley, like many Republicans and even some Democrats, acknowledged the need to cut spending.
But, Markley said, “the legislature is gonna have to exercise good judgment.”
Markley was one of an overwhelming number of legislators to vote for, and pass, a restoration of prior cuts to the Medicare Savings Program (MSP).
“This wasn’t thoroughly thought out, and that whole budget was adopted in some haste, which is one of the reasons why I didn’t support it,” Markley said. “I’m glad the money is back there. It’s not right to pull the rug out.”
One thing is for sure: Markley’s 2018 is going to be a busy one.
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