Dill, Branco will run in two marginal seats

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Up against two of the Island’s most popular local MPs, Michael Branco and Dueane Dill have tough tasks persuading residents to vote against Health Minister Zane DeSilva and Opposition leader Kim Swan.

But Southampton East Central and St George’s West are two traditional marginals the Bermuda Democratic Alliance is expected to target most aggressively at its debut general election.

Businessman Mr Branco, 35, the Alliance’s energy spokesman, will be gunning for Mr DeSilva and the United Bermuda Party’s Susan Jackson in the Southampton constituency where he lives.

A former UBP member, he joined the Progressive Labour Party last year but quit shortly afterwards when the BDA was formed.

Describing his Portuguese upbringing as humble, Mr Branco said he wanted to get involved in politics for some time but didn’t believe the UBP or PLP fitted his background.

“Thank God the BDA came along,” he said, explaining he was able to contribute to the Alliance’s open room discussions from day one as it formed its platforms.

Mr Branco has extensive experience in business and information technology, and is senior vice president of IT company Ignition Bermuda.

Father-of-three Mr Dill, 47, who will be up against UBP leader Mr Swan and PLP candidate John Gibbons in Constituency Two, made the headlines following a row with race consultant Rolfe Commissiong in March this year.

He said Mr Commissiong called him a “house nigger” during a tirade in a Hamilton gym a claim the consultant denies.

An insurance manager at Atlantic Security, Mr Dill said he previously turned down an approach from the UBP before joining the BDA and becoming its Works spokesman.

“They don’t represent who I am,” he said of the UBP. “The legacy of the UBP is elitism and cronyism. I can’t be affiliated with that.”

He said the PLP doesn’t appeal either because he believes it has been in payback mode since winning power in 1998.

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