Richardson unveiled as PLP challenger
Designer Curtis Richardson has designs of his own on the parliamentary seat of Paget East.
Mr Richardson was announced yesterday as the Progressive Labour Party’s candidate in the June 7 by-election caused by the retirement of sitting One Bermuda Alliance MP Grant Gibbons. Mr Richardson said constituents who failed to go to the polls for last year’s General Election should “stand up and participate”.
He added: “Your vote matters, and I would like to connect with you,”
Mr Richardson told voters: “Ask yourself if the One Bermuda Alliance candidate deserves to inherit a seat or work hard for it.”
The candidate said the window for canvassing last year had been “about half as much as we have right now”.
He added education and the economy were the top issues on voters’ minds. Mr Richardson, speaking at a press conference at the PLP’s Alaska Hall headquarters, said he had contacted most of about 300 people who had not voted last year.
He added he understood “the dynamics of Paget East”, and that he was “encouraged” by the responses he received from residents who had abstained from voting in 2017.
Mr Richardson admitted that by-elections tended to draw fewer voters than General Elections.
But he said he believed the undecided voters “are listening now — now they have a new government in power, it speaks volumes to any concerns they had”.
Curtis Dickinson was declared the challenger for Warwick North East last week.
Mr Richardson was unsuccessful in the seat in the 2017 General Election, where Dr Gibbons was MP for 24 years.
Dr Gibbons retained the seat with 704 votes to 397 — a majority of 307.
Mr Richardson said: “Three hundred and ninety-seven voters were tired of an OBA government that disrespected and ignored their wishes.”
The constituency is regarded as a stronghold for the OBA and the United Bermuda Party before that.
But the victory margin was eroded from Dr Gibbons’s win in the 2012 election against PLP contender Dawn Simmons, when he held the constituency by 699 to 243, a majority of 456.
Walter Roban, the acting PLP leader, said that Mr Richardson had “obtained the most votes for the PLP in Paget East, and narrowed the margin with the Opposition”.
Mr Roban added: “Mr Richardson knows the issues that are near and dear to the people of Paget East and is willing to roll up his sleeves and do whatever he can to ensure the concerns of the people are heard.”
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