No independent contenders for by-election
No independent candidates are in the running for the double by-election on June 7.
Voters will choose between Scott Pearman of the One Bermuda Alliance and Curtis Richardson of the Progressive Labour Party. in Constituency 27, Paget East.
The race is on between Curtis Dickinson of the PLP and the OBA’s Justin Mathias in Constituency 25, Warwick North East. The four were signed up on Thursday at their polling stations. Mr Pearman said he had been well received by residents.
He added: “The community recognises the need for a strong Opposition and they have been very supportive,” Mr Pearman said. “Obviously I have encountered local concerns. Garbage pick-up is one of them — people would like to see twice a week pickups in the summer months.
“I’ve also heard comment about some tourism properties in Constituency 27 that are no longer operational.”
Mr Pearman said the top concern voiced had been “focusing on education”.
Voter turnout tends to fall for by-elections, he said. But this is the interesting part of having two by-elections that will focus a lot on the transitions occurring in the Opposition.”
Curtis Richardson, the PLP candidate in Paget East, said the reception on doorsteps had been “extremely promising and inviting”.
Voters have “shared how delighted they are with the present Government — their concerns have moved from scepticism to positive feedback”.
Mr Richardson added: “They have asked how the education system can be changed.”
He said voters had been encouraged by the island’s good standing with rating agencies and seniors were pleased to get pension increases.
Mr Richardson added: “I believe that this time around we will probably see record numbers of voters turning out.”
He said: “People have been very welcoming, and very willing to share their concerns around the community and the country.”
Mr Dickinson said national concerns were dominated by “keeping the economy growing, health costs, especially for seniors, and education”.
He added that concerns varied between neighbourhood and ranged from road paving and street lighting to maintenance of roadsides. Mr Mathias, his rival at the polls, said he had enjoyed “a nice response on the doorsteps”.
He added: “The important thing is to have a strong Opposition. This is not an election that’s going to change the Government. What’s ideal for them is to have a strong voice.”
Mr Mathias added the high cost of healthcare was still a concern, along with an increase in rodents around the constituency due to reduced trash collection.
Tenia Woolridge, the Parliamentary Registrar, said the nomination day had been “routine”. Ms Woolridge reminded the public that an advanced poll for travellers and incapacitated voters will be held on May 31.
More information about the advanced poll is on the Parliamentary Registry’s website at www.elections.gov.bm.
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