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OBA to field Bascome, Outerbridge

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One Bermuda Alliance candidates Kenneth Bascome and Nandi Outerbridge with Michael Dunkley, the Premier (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Nandi Outerbridge and Kenneth Bascome will both defend their St George’s seats at the upcoming General Election.

The One Bermuda Alliance politicians were rolled out yesterday as candidates in St George’s West and St George’s North respectively.

Michael Dunkley extolled the revival of the Olde Towne as tourists stood by for the ferry at Penno’s Wharf.

“We see the place bustling with visitors, a new hotel breaking ground — and, over my shoulder, they’re driving piles in for a new airport,” the Premier said, noting that in 2013 a grant of $1.4 million had been put towards refurbishing the waterfront for a town that had been “struggling”.

In Constituency 2, Ms Outerbridge will take on former United Bermuda Party leader Kim Swan, who now represents the Progressive Labour Party.

She told The Royal Gazette that her 2012 win had come as a surprise to many, but added: “This is not short term for me.”

The sports minister said the focus had shifted from concerns over the economy in 2012, to the need for social assistance.

“People are smart enough to realise that without stabilising the economy, social programmes would not be possible,” she said.

“They don’t generate money; they need money. We are at the point of being able to do that.”

Asked if she felt daunted as a young candidate running against such a veteran political figure as Mr Swan, Ms Outerbridge said: “What I have to offer is just that: my youth. I’m young and solutions driven. At the time I was elected, everyone didn’t think it would happen, but in the last four years I’ve proven myself.”

Meanwhile Mr Bascome, in Constituency 1, will be pitted against senator Renée Ming of the PLP.

He stressed his long experience in office at the East End, going back to his election to the Corporation of St George in 1994, followed by his term as mayor.

Mr Bascome blasted the PLP’s record in the east during the party’s 14 years in Government, saying there had been a “concerted effort” to undermine the town’s economic base with the removal of wharfage fees from the municipality.

The closure of the St George’s golf course had also damaged a host of area businesses, Mr Bascome said — ascribing the loss of cruise ships to the Government of the day being “unable to pass gaming for ships that were docked in Bermuda”.

“Having been on the Corporation, having been mayor, I was in negotiation with numerous people that would make the final decision,” he said.

Mr Bascome added that he would put “my character and life on the line” to allay residents’ concerns over loss of beach access with the new St Regis resort.

Yesterday’s announcement means the ruling party has now unveiled 11 candidates in total.

Jeanne Atherden, Susan Jackson, Nick Kempe and Andrew Simons are already named for Pembroke and Senator Jeff Baron, Nalton Brangman, Sheila Gomez, Jeff Sousa and Robyn Swan for Warwick.