Politics

Peets ‘back to finish the job’ on Dunkley

  • Seeking your vote: Ernest Peets (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
  • Seeking your vote: Curtis Richardson  (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
  • Ernest Peets, left, with Curtis Richardson, right, and David Burt, the Premier (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Ernest Peets and Curtis Richardson were unveiled as Progressive Labour Party candidates for the General Election yesterday.

Dr Peets will compete in Smith’s North, where he lost to Michael Dunkley, of the One Bermuda Alliance, by 497 votes to 454 at the 2017 election.

Mr Dunkley defeated Patrice Minors, of the PLP, by 618 votes to 298 five years earlier.

Mr Richardson will fight for the seat in Paget East, where he lost a by-election against the OBA’s Scott Pearman by 461 votes to 300 in 2018.

David Burt, the PLP leader, said Dr Peets, a counsellor and mental health professional, was a “champion for mental health”.

He added that Mr Richardson, a taxi operator, was “a frontline ambassador in tourism”.

The pair were unveiled by the Premier at a press conference yesterday morning at Alaska Hall.

Dr Peets, 50, said: “I am back in 2020 to finish the job.”

He added: “I may be relatively new to politics, but I am no stranger to helping and addressing the needs of the people who make up our great country.

“I have a long career in the human services field and I bring important skills, knowledge, and experience to the political arena.”

He told voters: “As such, I am looking forward to being your champion regarding mental health, addiction, reducing criminal recidivism, and supporting our youth through education and sports.”

Dr Peets said that adequate housing for those with mental issues was “critical” and that he would like to work with the Government and prison system to revitalise the Transitional Living Centre at Westgate.

He added that many of the concerns he had heard from the constituency were largely national, including the economy, Covid-19 and education.

Dr Peets said: “I am confident in our leadership on all these key issues and believe there is only one team that is prepared to take us forward.

“I am also acutely aware of the psychological toll of the pandemic on both adults and children alike. I would be an asset to speak to these issues.”

Grant Gibbons, of the OBA, defeated Mr Richardson by 704 votes to 397 at the 2017 election.

Dr Gibbons defeated Dawn Simmons, of the PLP, by 699 votes to 243 in 2012.

Mr Richardson, 44, said: “Servants who lead and leaders who serve are not the same. One uses a plan to serve people while the other uses the people to serve a plan.”

He said: “2020 will go down in history and it will be a year that none of us forget. We will remember the hardships. We will remember the sacrifice. And we will remember the fear we all had.

“But I will also remember how we came together across class, race and party lines to lift each other up ... The truth of the matter is, there is more that brings us together than divides us.

“We are all committed to building back our economy in a way that works for all. We are all committed to phasing out middle schools and strengthening our public education system. We are all committed to more affordable healthcare. And, we are all committed to creating jobs.”

Mr Richardson told Paget East voters: “Come back out with the same vigour as you did during the previous elections and encourage your neighbours to do the same.

“Let us continue to spread the message that we stand for nothing, if we don’t stand for our country. Come out and support me and give me the best present on my birthday, October 1.

“I will see you on the doorstep.”

Mr Burt said Dr Peets was “active in our community to serve the people”.

He added: “He is a champion for mental health, treating addiction, reducing criminal recidivism and uplifting young Bermudians.

“He has a commitment to service and this is exactly the type of mindset that we need in the House of Assembly.”

Mr Burt added that Mr Richardson was an entrepreneur as well as aware of the importance of tourism.

He added: “In the last General Election and in the 2018 by-election, Mr Richardson did an incredible job and brought the PLP to its highest support level ever in Paget East.”

Mr Burt said that he would announce the PLP’s economic recovery plans over the next few weeks.

He added he would remind the public of his party’s 2017 election promises and claimed that “well over 65 per cent” had been kept in the PLP’s fourth year in office.

Mr Burt said he would also deliver an update on the party’s platform as a full term had not been completed before the General Election was called on August 21.

To read the statements from Ernest Peets, Curtis Richardson and David Burt, click on the PDF links under “Related Media”