Campbell returns to take on Ball in Smith’s West
A government senator was unveiled yesterday as the Progressive Labour Party's candidate for the Smith's West by-election.
Vance Campbell, the Junior Minister of Public Works, will take on One Bermuda Alliance candidate Vic Ball to fill the seat left vacant in the wake of the OBA's Trevor Moniz retiring from the House of Assembly after nearly three decades.
Mr Campbell said: “The fact of the matter is that difficult times lay ahead.
“These times require capable and steady leadership — leadership that cares for Bermudians.
“As we look towards our economic recovery, we must rebuild Bermuda in a way that works for Bermudians.”
The announcement was made at an event held near Elliot Primary School in Devonshire.
Mr Campbell said that he planned to tackle problems such as the economic damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the end of middle schools and the creation of an affordable healthcare system.
He added that, although he would be a first-time member of Parliament, he was “well prepared for the responsibilities that come with that mantle”.
Mr Campbell said: “I have a wealth of experience, I am battle-tested and I stand here ready, willing and able to represent all who reside in the Smith's West community.”
The by-election for the MP of Constituency 9 was called after Mr Moniz, the former OBA and United Bermuda Party politician, stepped down on August 3.
He had held the seat for 12 years as part of his 27-year career in politics.
Mr Campbell ran against Mr Moniz for the Smith's West seat at the 2017 General Election and picked up 405 votes to Mr Moniz's 540 votes.
Mr Campbell said yesterday that, despite his earlier defeat, he was confident that members of the Smith's West constituency would vote based on who was prepared for the job rather than on party lines.
He said: “When voters from Constituency 9 look at the individual candidates and hold them up side by side, I'm confident that I stand out as the best candidate to represent their interests.”
Mr Campbell asked Smith's West voters to recognise the importance of their vote.
He said: “When you go behind that curtain to cast your vote, I am asking you to vote, not based on party, but on which candidate and which leadership team is best equipped to meet the challenges that the Members of the House of Assembly will face in the months and the years immediately before us.”
Mr Campbell is the chief executive of hardware store SAL Trading and sat on the Bermuda Hospitals Board. He is a former chairman of the Consumer Affairs Board and the deputy chairman of the Bermuda Housing Trust.
Mr Campbell is also a former vice-president of the Foster Parents Association and a former chairman of Young Life Bermuda. He is the president of the Young Men's Social Club.
David Burt, the Premier, said: “We need strong leadership, solid plans for the future and a vision to see us through better times.
“I strongly believe that electing Vance Campbell in Smith's West is the best choice.”
The date of the by-election has yet to be announced, but must be held inside 60 days of the seat becoming vacant — in this case, before October 3.