Simmons challenge to Roban confirmed
A two-way race for the deputy leadership of the ruling Progressive Labour Party is to be held.
PLP officials confirmed an election will be held after Walter Roban, who has held the position for the past two years, and backbencher Scott Simmons were both nominated.
They added there were no challengers for David Burt, the Premier, for leadership of the party, so he will be automatically re-elected.
Owen Darrell, the PLP chairman, said the party was “thrilled at the level of excitement” around the annual delegates conference, Building a Better and Fairer Bermuda: The Next Chapter, which will be held from October 24 to 26.
He said: “Delegates are signing up and a number of people will be running to fill spots in the party executive.
“We are especially enthused about the energy around the upcoming Throne Speech and the second year of delivering for the people of Bermuda.”
He added: “The next legislative year will be a critical one as we address many issues impacting our country.”
The party leader and deputy leader's jobs are filled by election every four years at its delegates conference under the PLP constitution.
Mr Burt and Mr Roban, who is also Minister of Transport and Regulatory Affairs, were voted into their roles in 2016 after Marc Bean stepped down as the party's leader for health reasons.
Mr Simmons is a backbencher and former chairman of the party and has also served as its public relations officer.
The Royal Gazette reported on Tuesday that Mr Simmons was said to have visited PLP branches in recent weeks to “get a feel” for the climate.
Dawn Simmons, a former election candidate, has been nominated as chairwoman of the party.
If she is successful against incumbent Damon Wade she will be the first woman to hold the post.
Three people, Lauren Hayward Bell, Colin Gilbert and Alexa Lightbourne, have put their hats in the ring to become deputy chairman.
Mr Darrell explained: “As per the party constitution, positions that have more than one candidate must be voted on at the annual delegates conference by the delegates.
He said the party looked forward to “an inspiring conference”.
The event will start with a speech from Mr Burt at St Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church's Centennial Hall on October 24, to which the public are invited.