HARTFORD — State Sen. Joseph Markley is the first Republican to declare as a candidate for the No. 2 job in state government.
Markley, R-16th District, registered March 24 as a candidate for the Republican Party’s nomination for lieutenant governor in 2018.
He said he is planning on giving up his Senate seat because he intends to exclusively campaign for lieutenant governor.
“I’m in, and I don’t anticipate that is going to change,” Markley said last week.
The Southington lawmaker rejoined the Senate in 2011 following a 25-year hiatus after having served a single, two-year term in the mid-1980s.
He carried 62 percent of the vote to win re-election in the 16th Senatorial District last November. The district includes all of Prospect, Southington and Wolcott, and parts of Cheshire and Waterbury.
Markley said he is running independently for lieutenant governor. He also said he will seek public financing for his campaign. He must raise $75,000 in qualifying contributions.
He said he believes he can help the Republican Party and its eventual nominee for governor win back the governor’s office after eight years of Gov. Dannel Malloy and his Democratic administration.
Markley, 59, is one of the more conservative voices in the legislature and the Republican Party.
He was active in the state’s tea party movement before being elected to his second Senate stint. In 2015, he ran unsuccessfully for state chairman of the Republican Party.
Markley belongs to the eight-member, all-Republican Conservative Caucus in the legislature
Last year, Markley and a small cadre of like-minded conservatives from Waterbury, Wolcott and Southington also established the Connecticut Liberty Caucus.
The Connecticut Liberty Caucus is a 501(c)(4) organization that is dedicated to advancing a conservative policy agenda through a combination of public education and political action.
As co-founder of the Connecticut Taxpayers Committee, Markley helped organize the massive “Ax the Tax” rally in 1991 that drew tens of thousands of demonstrators to the state Capitol to protest the adoption of the state income tax.