Mark Davis, a longtime political correspondent at WTNH-TV, announced his retirement on Monday after more than 50 years in radio and television journalism, according to News 8.

“As you may know, I have been on an extended leave of absence from work since mid March because of the pandemic,” Davis said in a statement to WTNH. “Because I can see no safe path back to work for a man of my age and risk factors I have decided to retire from my position at News 8/WTNH. I would like to thank my co-workers past and present, and especially Photographer Joe Sferrazza for helping me look good (in many ways) over the past 36 years. Most of all I would like to thank the viewers for their continued support over the decades.”

Davis also said “for the first time in more than 50 years” he was able to stay home and watch a movie on election night. “It was great!” he said. “Best wishes to all and stay safe.”

In March, Davis tweeted that he was taking a leave of absence due to the coronavirus pandemic.

While still in college, Davis took his first radio job in 1967, then spent the 1970s working as a radio news director and talk show host covering the Massachusetts State Capitol.

In the 1980s, Davis hosted “Good Morning, Connecticut,” a Saturday morning news show, along with the popular “Dial Mark Davis” radio show on WTIC-AM. He was one of the first journalists in the state to cover the resignation of Governor John Rowland in 2004.

On Twitter, Connecticut’s elected officials congratulated Davis, who typically made a point of asking the first question at press conferences.

“With the retirement of @markdavisWTNH from @WTNH, Connecticut is losing a titan in journalism,” Gov. Ned Lamont wrote. “Mark has been a trusted source in state politics for several administrations. I hate to see him go, but I wish him and his wife nothing but the best in this new phase of their lives.”

Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz called Davis “a stalwart, veteran journalist with a distinguished career spanning more than 5 decades.” State Treasurer Shawn Wooden thanked Davis for his “dedication to providing Connecticut with over 50 years of outstanding broadcast journalism. I wish you a healthy, relaxing and well-deserved retirement.”

Attorney General William Tong said Davis was “a tireless and dedicated newsman who spent decades covering Connecticut politics. We’re sad to see you go, but all the best in your well-deserved retirement!”

Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) called Davis “a powerhouse political reporter” who “played an integral role in getting information from government to the public, asking tough questions and bringing truth to the people. He will be missed by all.”

Connecticut Senate Republicans wrote “Mark has always worked incredibly hard and pursued the facts to share with his viewers. It became tradition at the Capitol that Mark would ask the first question at any press conference he attended, which speaks to the respect he held in the building.”

“Good news for him, sad news for us,” wrote Sen. Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk). “I remember watching Mark on @WTNH growing up, meeting him in 1994 on a gubernatorial campaign and then as a legislator seeing Mark in action at the State Capitol. A stand up guy who will be missed. Thanks Mark for your service.”

Democratic Rep. Christopher Rosario (D-Bridgeport) thanked Davis for “50 years of dedicated service to the people of Connecticut,” adding that his “attention to detail, professionalism and strong reporting will be missed.”

Michael Hamad may be reached at [email protected]

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