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OBA candidate will challenge Kim Swan

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Single mother Nandi Davis, will challenge the United Bermuda Party’s Kim Swan for the St George’s West seat in the next general election.

Ms Davis, who will be 25 in April, was rolled out as the One Bermuda Alliance’s candidate on Thursday.

Running a political newcomer in St George’s West might prove a risky strategy for the OBA.

Kim Swan won the seat against the Progressive Labour Party’s Dean Foggo in 2007 but by only 17 votes, overturning a 22 vote majority for the PLP.

The PLP is yet to formally unveil its candidate for the district.

Yesterday OBA Leader Craig Cannonier acknowledged that a three-way race in what is effectively a marginal constituency may prove challenging for his party, when asked if he was not concerned about splitting the vote of those who opposed the PLP.

“It does present a bit of a challenge, no question about it,” he said.

“We are the official Opposition. If there’s a third candidate, it’s Kim.”

Mr Cannonier added that Mr Swan’s victory in 2007 was by a “small margin” over a “marginal candidate”.

“It was a win, quite frankly, over a candidate that many of us thought probably could have been a lot stronger and done a lot more work, and he didn’t,” he continued.

He said the party saw an opportunity in district 2.

“We need not underestimate the electorate.”

He said the electorate in the St George’s constituencies were “very savvy”. “They have changed back and forth. So I think that the One Bermuda Alliance in presenting a young woman who’s smart, who’s new, vibrant and wants to get involved in the political arena, presents to any candidate down there a formidable challenge.

“She’s quickly understanding the political arena and what’s involved.”

Asked if he thinks that Ms Davis’ candidacy will end Mr Swan’s tenure in parliament, he said:

“It’s certainly has the makings of that. It does, unfortunately, in looking at the numbers,” he said.

“But our goal is to put someone there that’s new, that’s fresh and that we consider to be a strong candidate.”

He said Ms Davis’ youth and political inexperience were, in fact, her strengths.

“The problem with the political arena today is that we’re not bringing new people into the arena and we’re not bringing fresh eyes to the political process which is what will strengthen it.

“If we’re just going to be regurgitating and revolving the same people, the political process has no injection of vitality and this is what the One Bermuda Alliance is about doing that.”

Mr Swan, for his part, said that the OBA’s candidate announcement “reinforces that Bermuda’s democracy is healthy and alive”.

“St George’s as a whole is well established among the few marginal communities in Bermuda where the voters have a history of being very discerning and fair,” he said.

“As in the past, I will rely on the good judgement of the good people of St George’s to determine who they wish to be their representative.”

Asked her chances of winning, Ms Davis, who lives in the east end, said she will work hard “to build the relationships necessary to earn the support required to win and give the people the change this Island is longing for.”

Ms Davis indicated during her prepared remarks at her unveiling that her focus will be what she sees as the link between “the quality of education and crime”.

“The same children getting in trouble at the middle school level are the same young men being incarcerated later,” she said.

She also expressed concern that Bermuda’s quality of life was being rapidly eroded.

“The things that made us call this paradise and ‘another world’ are disappearing so quickly that if we don’t do something about it now, they will disappear completely, leaving behind just another struggling little place scarred by crime and ignorance and poverty,” she said.

“I have a beautiful two-year-old boy, and there is nothing that focuses your mind so completely as having a child. I want my son to be happy, well-educated and successful, and to grow up in a place without the danger and the pressures that push so many young people towards wasting their lives in crime and idleness.”

Ms Davis works as a PA to the managing director of a fund administration company and is studying to be a chartered accountant.

New OBA candidate Nandi Davis
New OBA candidates - Scott Stewart, Nandi Davis (Photo by Mark Tatem)

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Published March 10, 2012 at 7:26 am (Updated March 10, 2012 at 7:26 am)

OBA candidate will challenge Kim Swan

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