By SHERIDAN CYR
State Representative Rob Sampson (R-80) has reportedly filed exploratory paperwork to potentially run for the state senate seat currently held by Senator Joe Markley (R-16), who entered the 2018 race for lieutenant governor this past spring.
Sampson will likely seek re-election in 2018 for his 80th district seat (Wolcott, Southington) in the general assembly, but he filed the paperwork to explore his options to run for the 16th district senate seat that Markley would have to vacate if he wins his bid for lieutenant governor.
Democrats have yet to announce any potential candidates for the seat. If Sampson decides to officially file his candidacy, he would begin campaigning early next year.
“I think the entire state is in need of a new, better direction,” said Sampson. “I’m well known by Southington residents as a responsible legislator, who is often in direct opposition of the policies of our current governor. I think he has taken us in a bad direction.”
Sampson and Connecticut governor Dannel Malloy both entered their current positions in 2010. Sampson believes that, under Malloy, there has been too much spending, and too much taxation of the people. He added that the current issues with the state’s budget are causing a lot of fear and hurting the people of Southington directly.
“[Malloy] is threatening to cut aid to Southington. It’s a very bad situation right now, and I want us to start acting responsibly,” he said. “I hope I’m given the chance to help guide us back in the right direction.”
Markley’s campaign for lieutenant governor is moving right on track, making his current seat on the senate seem more and more possible for Sampson.
“It’s going very, very well so far,” said Markley. He explained that his main goal right now is raising funds for the campaign. Markley and his team must meet $75,000 in personal contributions under $100 by the end of September.
Markley reported that the campaign is currently about two-thirds of the way there. He feels confident that they will meet their fundraising goal in time.
“People throughout Connecticut know me as a fiscal conservative,” said Markley. “I stick to my principals and side with constitutional rights and personal liberties. I can commit my message effectively across the board.”
Markley wants to start a grassroots organization if elected, something he feels Republicans have lacked in the state. He also wants to help get a Republican governor elected as well as help other Republicans succeed across the ballots.
The lieutenant governor works alongside the governor and aids in decision-making processes. Currently Markley is running unopposed, but Election Day is still over a year away. Markley’s confidence is aided by his head-start on his campaign.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Cyr, email her at SCyr@Southing-tonObserver.com.