FAIRFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski announced his running mate will be State Rep. Laura Devlin of Fairfield.

Stefanowski and Devlin appeared together at a news conference Tuesday outside Old Fairfield Town Hall.

“It’s the beginning of a journey to make Connecticut safer, more affordable, to make state government more accountable, to give the power back to the people of Connecticut,” Stefanowski said.

Devlin began her fourth term in the House of Representatives in January, serving on the Transportation, Education, and tax-writing committees. A critic of Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont’s now-defunct plan to introduce highway tolls to help generate revenue for transportation projects, she held public hearings around the state to bring attention to the issue.

“I’m running for lieutenant governor with Bob Stefanowski because we need a team leading our state that will listen to the people and won’t be afraid to take action,” Devlin said. “I hear it every day. People are struggling right now, and state government can and should do more.”

Stefanowski said he chose Devlin from about 20 people because of her integrity and her legislative experience, crediting her with “managing the no-tolls process extraordinarily well.” He said Lamont’s plan wouldn’t have been scrapped if it wasn’t for Devlin and her efforts.

“There are a lot of great candidates, but I looked at Laura. I looked at her legislative experience, that’s going to be very important. She knows how to manage the legislature, that’s going to be critical. I wanted a diverse candidate, someone from Fairfield County who could help me understand the issues.”

For Devlin, being the lieutenant governor or even a state representative never crossed her min before getting into the political sphere.

“It was never my intent to get into politics, but I’m not someone who can sit on the sidelines and watch things happen,” Devin said. “If you can make a difference, you should jump in and make it happen. “

After the announcement, Stefanowski told News 8 that he’s confident they’ll come out on top this year, saying it’s not if they’ll win, it’s when.

Republican leaders offered their congratulations to Devlin:

“Laura is a fierce advocate for working- and middle-class families,” Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly said. “She is incredibly hardworking, intelligent, and passionate about public service and making Connecticut a better and stronger place for all. Across our state, Laura is known for her years of work fighting for a stronger economy and transportation system without taking more out of taxpayers’ wallets with new taxes or tolls. Families in Laura’s home district know her for her commitment to education, good government, and protecting our environment. It has been an honor to serve alongside Laura in the legislature. All of Connecticut would be well served with Laura helping lead our state and standing up for the voices of Connecticut families.”

“Congratulations to Laura Devlin on her decision to run for Lieutenant Governor for our great state,” Sen. Paul Formica said. “Laura has been an outstanding leader in the Republican Party and as a state representative for the 134th district in the General Assembly for nearly eight years. I’m thrilled to see that Bob Stefanowski has asked Laura to join him to bring new leadership to CT this November.”

Lamont’s running mate this year will again be Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz. Democrats vow the governor’s administration is still what’s best for the state and will hold city officials, like in West Haven, accountable if more are found to be misusing federal COVID-19 funding.

“I can’t speak highly enough of the governor and lieutenant governor’s integrity and commitment to transparency and accountability,” Stamford Mayor Caroline Simmons (D) said. “I know they will continue to hold any individual accountable that conducts fraud and abuse with critical federal funding for our state.”

Nancy DiNardo, chair of the state’s Democratic Party, issued a statement, saying:

“Gov. Lamont & Lt. Gov. Bysiewicz are cutting taxes, lowering everyday costs delivering surpluses that are reaching record highs and making record investments in schools infrastructure and public safety. Voters can see the difference.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.