Hugh McQuaid file photo
State Rep. Penny Bacchiochi wants to change the direction the state is headed so she’s exploring a run for lieutenant governor.

“Republican ideas are what we need to make change,” Bacchiochi said Tuesday. “For 11 years, I’ve been on the team that tries to slow down this growing debt and this increasingly intrusive state bureaucracy. Exploring a run for lieutenant governor is an extension of that effort.”

A self-described “independent-minded Republican,” Bacchiochi isn’t afraid to break with her party when it concerns the interests of her district. As a freshman lawmaker she was the lone Republican vote on a union concession package and in 2008 she voted to override former Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s veto of an increase in the minimum wage.

Bacchiochi, who is the daughter of former Stafford First Selectman Allen Bacchiochi, was elected to a sixth term last year and represents Stafford and Somers. She also owns a real estate company.

Bacchiochi said she’s spoken with all the Republican candidates for governor and they like her legislative and business experience. But in the end, what they think doesn’t matter because in Connecticut the lieutenant governor position is elected independently of the gubernatorial candidate.

In order to qualify to be on the ticket in the fall of 2014, if she were to run, Bacchiochi would have to first either win her party’s convention or qualify for a primary with 15 percent of the delegates.

Bacchiochi is the first to announce her interest in the position.

She said she hasn’t made up her mind about whether she will participate in the public campaign financing system. As a state representative, she has participated in public financing.