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Senator Furbert to run for PLP

Senator Tineé Furbert, who was appointed to the Upper House in November, has been declared the Progressive Labour Party's candidate for Constituency 4, St George's South.

The announcement yesterday marked the fourth Opposition unveiling this month, and the PLP's third for the East End: Renee Ming was declared on May 2 for St George's North; Kim Swan on May 4 for St George's West, and Ernest Peets Jr on May 11 for Smith's North.

Advocacy on healthcare, education and disability rights were said to be priorities for Ms Furbert, who has roots in Hamilton Parish and St David's.

Surrounded by family and party members, Ms Furbert was hailed by Opposition leader David Burt as “a strong voice for the people, speaking for those who feel that they have no voice — who feel that Bermuda is leaving them behind”. He praised her “compassion and the strong, thoughtful, solutions-driven approach”.

Mr Burt commended the candidate's diverse background: a registered occupational therapist since 1999, she has “served persons in the community in that capacity with experience in skilled nursing facilities, private and public school systems, a prison setting, general, psychiatric and senior-specific hospitals”.

Her experience covers “working with populations of special needs paediatrics, adolescent and adult mental health, neurology and senior and adult health”, Mr Burt said, also noting her advocacy on healthcare and disability needs.

Saying she had canvassed a community “rich in culture and character”, Ms Furbert characterised herself as a voter who had been disappointed in the past, and felt the first step towards a solution began with herself.

Affordable services for seniors, education reform and accessibility for the disabled stood out as causes, but Ms Furbert also appealed to young voters, telling them: “You are relevant, and needed in this democracy.

“I come with eclectic skills and resourcefulness — someone who can execute a plan, can manage many jobs, someone who works hard to complete attainable tasks and someone who does not rely on recognition for it,” Ms Furbert said. “I have worked in long-term care, in education, in healthcare and in the field of disability, and have witnessed the challenges first-hand.

“Some of my goals for Constituency 4 are to establish relationships, request and evaluate feedback, connect constituents to community events and to educate about legislation that affects you.”

She called on the constituents to “get to know me, and allow me to get to know you”.

Aged 40, Ms Furbert has two children: her daughter Skyla, 9, and son Brazil, 11. Her husband, Shawn Furbert, told The Royal Gazette that yesterday's announcement was “not my first Nascar event; the difference is, now I'm going to have two cars running in the race” in reference to his brother, Opposition MP Wayne Furbert.

“It's very difficult when you are not in politics but you're a family man,” Mr Furbert added, saying the best he could do was be supportive.

At present, Constituency 4 is held by the One Bermuda Alliance MP and Deputy Speaker of the House, Suzann Roberts Holshouser, who won the seat in 2012 by 515 votes over 467 for Leroy Bean, the PLP candidate. An independent candidate, Kingsley Francis, secured 15 votes.

An extensive constituency, St George's South ranges from the edge of Bailey's Bay, Harlem Heights and Duck's Puddle, to the western portion of St David's. It encompasses politically weighty sites from the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre to LF Wade International airport.

Voters' concerns vary from break-ins to littering, particularly around Southside, and the “bus frequency, or lack thereof” for St David's residents, Ms Furbert said.

Tineé Furbert, the new PLP candidate for constituency 4, alongside husband Shawn Furbert (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published May 30, 2017 at 2:35 pm (Updated May 31, 2017 at 1:08 pm)

Senator Furbert to run for PLP

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