Markley earns another term

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State Sen. Joe Markley (R-16), left, talks with a poll worker after voting Tuesday at Derynoski Elementary School in Southington. Markley defeated Working Families challenger Christopher Robertson to win his third straight term in office. –RA ARCHIVE
State Sen. Joe Markley (R-16), left, talks with a poll worker after voting Tuesday at Derynoski Elementary School in Southington. Markley defeated Working Families challenger Christopher Robertson to win his third straight term in office. –RA ARCHIVE

SOUTHINGTON — State Sen. Joe Markley handily won a third term Tuesday representing the 16th Senate District.

Markley, a Republican, defeated Working Families challenger Christopher Robertson by 16,003 votes, 21,913 to 5,910, according to unofficial numbers. The district covers Wolcott and parts of Cheshire, Prospect, Southington and Waterbury.

Markley, a fiscal conservative who has been critical of Gov. Dannel Malloy’s administration, campaigned on the notion that lowering taxes and cutting government spending will result in a better economy for Connecticut.

He said he’s open to competing points of view, “almost to the point of a fault,” and makes his decisions based on what makes sense to him, not prescribed party ideals.

“One of the things that worked to my advantage is that I try to be clear about my reasoning,” Markley said. “People who don’t agree with me on an issue respect the fact that I’ve been thoughtful about it and always have my reasoning to support it.”

Markley was challenged by Robertson, a Democrat from Plantsville who was endorsed by the Working Families Party. Robertson’s platform centered on making college more affordable by offering $2,500 credits per semester to students who attend state schools.

Markley said in his next term, he will be “playing defense” if Malloy is re-elected. While campaigning, Markley expressed support for Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley.

Markley said his efforts to cut government spending have been blocked by Malloy. With a governor willing to listen to his ideas, he believes he’ll be able to accomplish more.

“Even Democrats will say, ‘When (Malloy) has made up his mind, there’s no use questioning him,’” Markley said.

For starters, Markley would like to cut back or eliminate the Board of Regents for Higher Education and restructure the Department of Children and Families, so it’s not both the “jury and executioner” in handling family matters.

Markley, who lives in Plantsville, was elected to the 16th Senate District in 2010 after former state Sen. Sam Caligiuri, also a Republican, opted to run for the 5th Congressional District. He also served one term representing the district from 1985 to 1986.