Opposition leader David Burt has confirmed that House Speaker Randolph Horton’s political days with the Progressive Labour Party (PLP) are over with the announcement of three more candidates.
Party chairman Scott Simmons will vie for the seat currently held by Mr Horton in Constituency 32 Southampton West. Also announced as new candidates were Bermuda Public Services Union President Jason Hayward, who will run in Constituency 19 Pembroke West against One Bermuda Alliance (OBA) MP Jeanne Atherden. The third candidate announced was Graham Maule, who will run in Constituency 20 Pembroke South West, where the seat is currently held by OBA MP Susan Jackson.
Speaking at Alaska Hall yesterday, Mr Burt introduced Mr Hayward as a “champion of labour” who has provided “fearless leadership” and “staunch support for workers”.
If elected, Mr Hayward pledged to ensure that the next PLP Government “is one that has a priority focused on the people, their families and their communities”.
“The residents of Constituency 19 can be assured that I will represent and uphold their best interest at all times,” said Mr Hayward. “I will not waiver from my commitment to serve and I truly believe that serving people equates to serving God.”
Mr Burt introduced Mr Simmons as a candidate who represents “that element of the PLP who places ‘service before self’…and who considers ‘the right before the reward’.”
Mr Simmons noted that he will focus on three main areas, namely: “Seniors, Community Infrastructure and Jobs in Tourism”.
“Our seniors are our greatest natural resource and remain the foundation for the Bermuda that we love and enjoy today,” he said. “For many of our seniors, life has distilled to a constant struggle to balance shrinking earnings to meet ever increasing financial responsibilities. I have met many in the Bermuda Housing Trust residential complex in Rockaway, Southampton and I commit to spend this term assisting my Party in finding solutions that will financially, physically and socially improve their quality of life, in recognition of their sterling lives of individual and collective service.”
He also pledged to make the redevelopment of White Hill Field a priority “to restore this community treasure to its former glory”.
Mr Maule, who studied hospitality in Scotland, was described as a “true green Bermudian”, who was “equipped and suited” to represent all constituents.
“As the PLP candidate in Constituency 20, Pembroke South West, I am committed to working diligently to ensure that the concerns of every constituent are heard and action is taken to propel all Bermudians forward collectively”, he said.
“Some of my constituents might ask, ‘Who is Graham Maule?’ I am a husband, a father, and a fifth generation Bermudian who has been actively contributing to the Bermudian community for more than thirty years.
“I am a musician who understands that our Tourism industry has faced many challenges in the past, but which still has enormous potential for growth in the future. The importance of our Bermudian culture cannot be overstated. Our world class Bermudian entertainers and musicians must be actively involved and empowered to contribute to our future success as a tourism destination. I will work to ensure that we are nurturing and supporting Tourism development by focusing upon the key factor which has historically been proven to bring return visitors to our island again and again: our culture.”
He concluded “that a sustainable future for Bermuda has to depend upon the ability of all Bermudians to work towards a common goal”.
“I believe in a Bermuda where we all recognize cultural differences within various groups, and still live in Harmony, with mutual respect shared between these groups.”
Another set of candidates are due to be announced later today.