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Dunkley: Why I’m running for deputy leader

Senator Michael Dunkley explained his decision to run for deputy leader of One Bermuda Alliance in the following letter, sent to members of the party’s caucus.To my colleagues and friends,Since I consulted many of you over the last few weeks and have always valued your guidance and support, I thought it appropriate to explain why I have submitted my name for Deputy Leader of the One Bermuda Alliance.This was not an easy decision but I believe I have made the best choice. While there were many factors that crossed my mind, there was only one goal in my heart to do what is right for Bermuda and our party and do everything in my power to best position us to win the next election, so together, we can make the change this Island so desperately needs.You all know that I am not someone who is afraid to take on a tough fight or to make the tough decision. In 2005 when I was asked to run in Smith’s North Constituency 10 I took on that challenge knowing that it would be a tremendous uphill battle to build relationships in a PLP stronghold and gain enough support to win the seat.I made the commitment to the people of Smith’s North knowing that they had not been well served by the current MP, but in order for me to serve them better it could take some time to build the relationship, the bond of trust and respect, which would allow us work together in solving their challenges.The work in Constituency 10 was not complete in December of 2007 and as you all know I have continued to canvass that area since the loss with measurable gains being made every day.Now is not the time to walk away from that commitment to serving the people of Smith’s North. As convincing as some of your arguments to put my name forward for Leader were, I feel strongly that now is the time to finish that job.This was the overriding fact in making the decision.Also on my list of considerations as I went through this process was the fact that after September 10, it’s vital that the OBA show the right balance between a face of change and also the experience that the Island is looking for. We cannot take our eyes off the ball and risk compromising the public trust we’ve all worked too hard to regain and will need in the days ahead.That’s why I want to assure all of you who have stood by me through this decision that you can continue to be confident that if I am elected Deputy Leader you can count on my very best in working hard to ensure that the OBA secures the victory that will restore confidence and prosperity in Bermuda’s future.The people of Smith’s North and the people of Bermuda deserve our very best and I intend to devote all my energy towards the work we require to put Bermuda first.