Markley defeats Mazurek in the 16th District

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Republican Joe Markley is congratulated by supporters Tuesday at Friends Cafe in Southington after defeating John "Corky" Mazurek in the 16th Senate District race. –RA ARCHIVE

SOUTHINGTON — Republican state Sen. Joe Markley soundly won a second consecutive term representing the 16th District, beating his Democratic challenger, John “Corky” Mazurek, by more than 2,500 votes.

Of the five towns that comprise the 16th Senate District, Markley lost Waterbury and Wolcott, but more than made up for those shortcomings with success in his hometown of Southington.

Mazurek, a former eight-term state representative for the 80th House District, said he plans to retire from politics.

“We ran the race we wanted, and if people decided they wanted to vote the other way, there was nothing we could do about it,” Mazurek said.

Markley, celebrating his victory at Friend’s Cafe in Southington, said he was relieved the campaign was over.

“Corky was a fighter, he put up an excellent campaign,” Markley said. “He pushed me harder than I was expecting.”

Moving forward, Markley plans to focus his efforts in the next legislative session of preventing any tax increase and repealing the early prison release program.

“And I want to continue to find large, wasteful government programs,” Markley said.

One of the programs he’s eyeing is the iQuilt plan to build a $100 million walkway from the Capitol to Bushnell Park.

Also, he said he will continue to work to repeal “unnecessary regulations” and “onerous mandates.”

During the campaign, Mazurek claimed that Markley’s vehement opposition to many of Gov. Dannel Malloy’s policies, including the New Haven-to-Hartford busway, had put the towns he serves at a disadvantage when it comes to securing grants.

Markley said he’d rather give money back to people in the form of lower taxes and smaller government.

He has promised not to vote for any bill that would raise taxes or increase overall government spending, and says the government needs to learn to live within its means by eliminating unnecessary programs and allocating its resources more efficiently.

The 16th Senate District covers Prospect, Southington, Wolcott and parts of Cheshire and Waterbury.