SOUTHINGTON — State Sen. Joe Markley was soundly elected to a fourth term representing the 16th District.
Markley, a Republican, received enough votes to defeat Democratic challenger Ryan Rogers, though exact numbers weren’t available late Tuesday.
“It’s very gratifying to have people’s support in a competitive race like this and to know people are happy with what I’m doing,” Markley said. “It’s humbling and encouraging.”
The 16th Senatorial District includes Southington, Wolcott and Prospect, and parts of Cheshire and Waterbury. Markley and Rogers are both Southington residents.
During the campaign, the candidates sparred over the role of state government. Markley, who was elected in 2010 as a tea party supporter, believes the state needs to cut costs and learn to live within its means.
Markley called the race a referendum on Gov. Dannel Malloy, of whom he is a frequent critic. Rogers tried to use that against the incumbent, calling him the “Mr. No” of the state legislature. Rogers claimed that reputation hindered his ability to serve his district.
Markley said the results show voters agree with his position that government should be smaller with less spending.
“My opponent really had a clearly different philosophy and I give him credit for running on it,” Markley said. “I think that gave people a cleaner choice between us than they often have.”
Rogers, an insurance auditor, is an Air Force veteran and member of the International Guard. He serves as an alternate on the Southington Zoning Board of Appeals.
Markley is a full-time legislator, but also writes and has taught English at the college level.
Markley believes in rejuvenating the economy by cutting state spending. He has suggested eliminating layers of government such as the Board of Regents, has more than 100 employees and governs state-run colleges and universities.
Rogers said the state’s priority should be making higher education more affordable and suggested regionalizing municipal services.