Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie
Sen. Joe Markley is in the center of the photo between Sen. Len Suzio and Tom Scott (Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie)

MASHANTUCKET — Sen. Joe Markley, who has been running for lieutenant governor for about a year, clinched the Republican Party’s endorsement Saturday to close out the GOP’s two-day convention.

Markley of Southington will likely face a primary from New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart and Darien First Selectwoman Jayme Stevenson. Steven Everett of Manchester didn’t receive enough support to primary.

“We have an obligation to save the state of Connecticut,” Markley said in his acceptance speech. “Our principles are the answers to our problems and we have to win together in November.”

Markley said he’s waiting for the Republican Party to pick a gubernatorial candidate and he’s happy to work with whoever the voters elect. He pointed out it might even be one of the candidates vying to petition their way onto the ballot.

Lieutenant governor candidates run separately from the candidates for governor. They can team up, but Republican primary voters can vote for one lieutenant governor candidate and a gubernatorial candidate even though they are not necessarily a team.

It’s only after the August primary that the governor and lieutenant governor become a ticket.

There’s little doubt there will be a primary.

“Two white men on a ticket is not the message the Republican Party should be sending,” Stewart said. “…I have generational balance, I have gender balance, I have geographical balance.”

Stewart dropped out of the governor’s race two hours before the convention began this Friday.

She received slightly more support than Stevenson who announced her candidacy a few months ago.

The Connecticut Democratic Party was quick to point out that Markley is one of the most conservative members of the state Senate.

“Joe Markley easily secured the Republican nomination with his radical right-wing rhetoric further proves that the Connecticut Republican party is the Party of Trump,” Democratic Party Chair Nick Balletto said.