Opposition leader David Burt announced three new Progressive Labour Party candidates who will run in the next General Election.

Architect Curtis Richardson will take on One Bermuda Alliance MP Dr Grant Gibbons in Paget East, lawyer Kathy Simmons will run against Senator Jeff Baron in Warwick North East and political commentator Chris Famous will go up against Bob Richards in Devonshire East.

Speaking at Alaska Hall this afternoon, Mrs Simmons said: “The people are ready for change, and I’m ready to be that change.”

Under at PLP government she said: “The interests of Bermudians will be protected so that a more balanced approach to governance is achieved.

“It means that under a Progressive Labour Party government, policy development and the enactment of legislation will be advanced against the backdrop of putting Bermudians first.

“It means that labour at all levels in our workforce, from the industrial workers to our civil servants will be treated fairly and with respect in acknowledgement of the essential roles they play in providing the services and support that keep the ‘engine’ of Bermuda running.

“It means that under a Progressive Labour Party government, the public narrative will change from one purposely designed to demean and de-humanize Bermudians to one that celebrates the social and economic advancement that Bermudians will achieve when our education system is properly funded; when cost-effective options are provided for our seniors to enable them to live with dignity and when policies which promote economic empowerment and independence are implemented.”

Mr Richardson said he looks forward “to being a part of the solution to lift the stigma that has been cast upon the Progressive Labour Party”.

“We have collectively listened. We have learned,” he said. “A true election is won on the doorsteps and the PLP is well aware of this.”

He also said there are “too many” college graduates returning home who are “having to settle for jobs in other fields or having to search for months or even years to acquire a job”. “This must change,” he said.

“Additionally, the public education platform has fallen in some ways and is in need of revitalization. It is not too late for us to save this vital resource. It will take this group of competent individuals to achieve this goal.”

Mr Famous, who has been an active participant in the PLP for the past six years, said he was truly humbled to be added to the party’s slate of candidates.

“Bermuda needs new energy and new blood in our politics,” he said. “Additionally, I feel the government we currently have is not performing satisfactorily or in the best interest of all Bermudians.

“The OBA government has disrespected our people continually for the past four years. This disrespect is not simply due to disagreements over policy, but it has been through their words and deeds. Seniors have been told ‘money doesn’t grow on trees’, yet we have seen money allocated to America’s Cup at the expense of seniors’ pensions, school maintenance, and technology improvements,” he added.

“The prevailing opinion in Devonshire East is that a change needs to come and I hope that change will begin with me on July 18, being selected as your new Devonshire East Member of Parliament.”