By SHERIDAN CYR
State Senator Joe Markley (R-16) fended off two candidates and secured the Republican endorsement for lieutenant governor at the state GOP convention at Foxwoods Casino on Saturday, May 12.
Markley pulled 53.4 percent of the convention vote. New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart pulled 26.1 percent, and Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson 19.8 percent.
“I feel of course delighted but also profoundly relieved,” said Markley. “There’s been a lot of excitement. I’ve been pursuing this for more than a year and felt I came in with very strong support, but things were rearranged by Stewart’s decision to jump into the lieutenant governor race. That caused some changes but I still had more than half the support of the convention.”
Despite the endorsement, a primary will be held on Aug. 14. Markley will once again face Stewart and Stevenson. Candidates needed to pull at least 15 percent of the convention vote to qualify for the primary ballot.
Stewart declared her candidacy on the Friday before the convention after dropping her gubernatorial campaign. Stevenson announced her candidacy on Jan. 30.
“I always expected a primary, and I feel confident going forward,” said Markley. “I think I separate from my opponents.”