Latest PLP candidate is Cabinet press officer
New Progressive Labour Party candidate, Cabinet press officer Scott Simmons, is to run in the three-way showdown for Constituency 31, Southampton West Central.
It will be a race between the United Bermuda Party’s incumbent Charlie Swan, the One Bermuda Alliance candidate Shawn Crockwell, and the man whom Premier Paula Cox jokingly commended as a member of her “White House staff”.
“It is never a walk in the park when we go into areas that are held by opposition members,” Ms Cox acknowledged. “But what we take great pride in is the fact that we have an array of candidates who are suitably qualified to go out and meet the people where they are, to listen and to respond.”
Addressing residents of the area, Mr Simmons announced: “I pledge to listen to you. And I’m happy to work with my party colleagues in ensuring that your needs and concerns remain at the head of our table, at the fore of our minds, and that the voters and the Country are the beneficiaries of our actions.”
Mr Simmons, who has worked since November of 2010 as press attache for Ms Cox, said he would continue to work in that capacity until the Premier indicated otherwise.
“We must continue to solve the country’s problems,” he said. “Our Government has met the challenge in returning our country to economic stability, through a mix of defined local knowledge, sound fiscal principles, and out-of-the-box thinking turned to action. We must continue to right wrongs, and keep as a priority the needs of our community.
“Funding social programmes, keeping our churches, schools and civic organisations working together, and matching community activism with cultural awareness, will go a long way in capturing the security we all feel, in a neighbourhood that, in time, and with all our efforts, will begin to feel like a neighbourhood. A community that we feel like a community, and a street that we will feel like home.
The new candidate continued: “We must never give up. Our strength is our survivability. The education of our children is one of our most important challenges, and we must do our part at home by applying discipline to ourselves before we apply disciplined learning to our children. Show our children we care, and show them the road they should travel by the standards we set. We must support our educators. I pledge to meet as many as I can in Constituency 31, Southampton West Central. My candidacy today represents my will to serve one voter, one resident, one person at a time. We have much to discuss, and I welcome getting to know you even better, and working with you to address concerns in the neighbourhood.”
Mr Simmons also called on young people to join in at the upcoming election.
“Your vote counts, and we want you to exercise it,” he said. “Make this the election where we all turn out, and turn Government together to our overall benefit. Let’s teach our young people the true meaning of the vote.”
Asked what concerns he had encountered so far from residents in the area, Mr Simmons said: “It’s been positive. That’s a thing that surprised me when I started knocking on doors, because I was prepared with a barrage of answers, and I didn’t get that.
“What I got was, first of all, individuals that were just pleased that somebody had knocked on the door. Secondarily, they were pleased that at the very least, someone was listening. And I believe that they were content, that at the very moment they feel as though we have a functioning Government. We have representatives who are willing to listen and who are willing to carry out their wishes.“
Yesterday, Mr Crockwell said: “We are looking at all constituencies and we will put up a valiant effort. Having a three-way race makes it more difficult, but that’s what we were anticipating.”
Incumbent Mr Swan said: “The people of Southampton West Central can count on me to champion their concerns. Their issues are my issues too.”
A UBP statement also read: “The official announcement of Mr Scott Simmons for the PLP in Southampton West Central was expected, and with the OBA also trying to oust MP Charlie Swan, it will make this constituency a hard fought three way race.
“Southampton West Central Member of Parliament Mr Charles Swan has worked hard on both local and has spoken up on tough national issues. He has also stayed true to the voters who elected him in 2008.”