Premier David Burt today announced Vance Campbell as the candidate to go up against Vic Ball, the One Bermuda Alliance candidate earmarked to replace retired MP Trevor Moniz in Constituency 9 Smith’s West.
Just when that bye election will be held, has yet to be announced – that statement from Government House is still pending
Speaking at a news conference held at Elliott Primary School this afternoon, Mr Burt said the Progressive Labour Party canvassed residents in C9 over the weekend and that they were “encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive response”.
He also noted that “over the past few decades, Smith’s West has been neglected by a missing in action Member of Parliament who rarely canvassed the constituency and met with voters”.
“From all indications, even if he did canvass, the resigned Member of Parliament did not canvass all voters, but, only perhaps a select few.
“But, we’re not here to focus on the past, we’re here to focus on the future. In these trying and difficult times, your PLP Team is capably and steadily seeing us through.
“And now, while still ensuring the safety and health of the community, we are focused on our economic recovery,” he said.
“A person that would be incredibly valuable in helping us see Bermuda through that economic recovery is none other than our candidate for #9, Vance Campbell.
“Vance’s credentials are impeccable,” he added.
“Vance is a Certified Public Accountant and works currently as the CEO of a major hardware store. He is a past chairperson of the Consumer Affairs Board and Deputy Chair of Bermuda Housing Trust.
“Vance is also past VP of the Foster Parents Association, Chairperson of Young Life Bermuda, and is currently the President of Young Men’s Social Club and a member of the Bermuda Hospital Board.
“As you can see Vance’s connections to the community run the spectrum and he is committed to serving his community in various forms.”
Mr Campbell noted that “for the first time in 27 years, the voters of Constituency 9 will be represented by a new face, a first time Member of Parliament”.
“This new Member of Parliament will take their seat at a time when Bermuda is in the midst of fighting a pandemic caused by COVID-19.
“As a result of the necessary and effective measures that were and continue to be required to protect the health and wellbeing of all those who reside and work in Bermuda, untold damage has been done to our economy.
“The story is the same in most countries around the world. Like Bermuda, those countries wrestled with the delicate balance of protecting lives whilst keeping the economy open for business.”
To the voters of C9, he said: “There has never been a time such as this, when you have had to go to the polls and cast your vote and choose the individual that will represent your interests in the House of Assembly.
“Never before has your choice been so critical. 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 years immediately before us.
“To the voters of Smith’s West, I humbly offer to serve.”
Mr Campbell has served as a Senator and Junior Minister in the Upper House for the past three years.
On that he said: “I have worked tirelessly and effectively on behalf of the people of Bermuda.”
The Premier also stated in his opening remarks that “tough times lie ahead”.
“The post COVID economy will require capable and steady leadership – leadership that cares for Bermudians, is focused on ably managing the coronavirus pandemic and our economic recovery, providing affordable health care, and making sure that every child has a quality education.
“We need strong leadership, solid plans for the future, and vision to see us through to better times,” he added
“I strongly believe that electing Vance Campbell in Smith’s West is the best voice.
“He has built relationships with the residents of Smiths West and in the 2017 General Election narrowed the gap.
“I am proud to have Vance Campbell standing for the PLP in C9 and look forward to his contributions to our island’s recovery.”