Dems turn to Rogers to challenge Markley

Ryan Rogers
Ryan Rogers

SOUTHINGTON — Democrats have endorsed a candidate to face state Sen. Joseph Markley, R-16th District, in the November election.

Democratic delegates for the 16th Senatorial District nominated Ryan Rogers in a convention on May 23. The district includes Southington, Wolcott, Prospect and part of Waterbury and Cheshire.

Rogers, 30, is a member of Southington’s Zoning Board of Appeals and the Connecticut Air National Guard. He also attends the Quinnipiac University School of Law.

Rogers lives in Southington with his wife, Ashley, and 1-year-old daughter, Mackenzie.

He considered running for elected office previously, but decided to commit this year after having his first child.

“I’m looking now through the lens of a father that wants to make everything better, not just for myself, but to provide a future for my daughter so she has a Connecticut she can grow up in and love and respect like I do.”

Rogers has said he supports mandatory paid medical and family leave, and would work to make college tuition more affordable.

“All of the issues he believes in center on improving people’s lives,” said Vickie Nardello, a former state legislator from Prospect, during his nomination.

Nardello said she’s come to know Rogers’ character by working on his campaign.

Joe Markley
Joe Markley

“Ryan’s not afraid of hard work and he’s going to be willing to work on behalf of his constituents,” she said. “And I really believe that his character is going to keep him grounded.”

Markley, who is seeking a fourth term, is skeptical of anything that would cost the state more money.

“Everyone we meet with begs us not to pass more mandates,” Markley said previously.

He added: “I think my ideology is very clear and in tune with the people I represent: That government has grown bigger than we can afford, and to an extent bigger than what benefits us.”

Rogers says he offers a different perspective.

“Markley has a history in Hartford for about six years now mostly of opposition, mostly of voting ‘no’,” Rogers said. “This is going to be a campaign about ‘yes.’ Yes, we can send someone to Hartford and have them fight for working families. Yes, we can send someone to Hartford and have them work to solve our budget problems instead of Band-Aiding them to death.”