Politics

PLP candidates inspired by family ties

  • Carrying on the legacy: Ianthia Simmons-Wade with a picture of late husband Frederick Wade, flanked by their daughters, Michelle Wade Johnson and Kamela Wade (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)
  • Jache Adams, the General Election candidate for the Progressive Labour Party (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
  • Ianthia Simmons-Wade, General Election candidate for the Progressive Labour Party (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
  • David Burt, the Premier (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
  • Erwin Adderley, Jache Adams’s grandfather and a former United Bermuda Party parliamentarian
  • Jache Adams, left, and Ianthia Simmons-Wade with David Burt, the Premier (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

General Election candidates who watched close relatives campaign for office were announced by the Progressive Labour Party yesterday.

Ianthia Simmons-Wade, the widow of Frederick Wade, a former PLP leader, will stand in Warwick North East, which was held in the last Parliament by finance minister Curtis Dickinson.

Jache Adams, the grandson of Erwin Adderley, a former United Bermuda Party MP, will fight Pembroke West, which his great-aunt, Jeanne Atherden, won for the One Bermuda Alliance in 2017.

David Burt, the Premier and PLP leader, added that Mr Dickinson would stand in Pembroke South East, after the announcement that Rolfe Commissiong, its most recent incumbent, would not be a candidate in the October 1 election.

Mr Adams, who will face Marcus Jones, of the OBA, has a background in banking and on the board of the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation.

Mr Burt said that the candidate also managed real estate interests and had started a small information technology business.

Mr Adams highlighted that he was a “family man” and spoke about his grandmothers, Iona Brangman and Nathalie Adderley, who were unable to attend the candidate announcement.

He said: “It’s important for me to mention this at the very beginning because I want everyone to know that I recognise without them, there is no me.

“Those two ladies are the best examples of sacrifice, selflessness, patience and perseverance that I take with me and it is those very same characteristics that I will take with me as the Progressive Labour Party candidate and hopeful representative for Constituency 19, Pembroke West.”

Mr Adams added: “My grandfather represented the constituency for seven years in the House of Assembly and so I know many of the constituents well.

“As a young boy, I canvassed with him in the area and it’s a unique experience because I get to see life come full circle, because this time, you can rest assured, he will be out canvassing with me.

“I know many of the concerns of the constituents well because as a young boy I heard them myself and you can imagine how saddened I am to recognise that many of those same concerns are still present today, like the improvement of the access to Deep Bay Beach as well as the restoring and making better use of Admiralty House ballroom.

“But as a breath of fresh air, I say to the residents, I will devote my time and my energy to improve the life in the community.”

Mr Adams said that he had family and friends who were members and supporters of both parties.

He added: “When I compared the leadership of both parties, the choice was simple.

“As I sit here next to the Premier, I’d be the first to admit that our government has not been perfect, but I’m proud of the progress that we’ve made and the direction that we’re headed.”

Ms Atherden defeated Jason Hayward, of the PLP, by 502 votes to 379 in the 2017 General Election.

She took victory over Vincent Ingham, of the PLP, by 530 votes to 275 five years earlier.

Mr Burt added that Ms Simmons-Wade, a senator in the last Parliament and a veteran healthcare worker, was the great-granddaughter of William Joell, the first black parliamentarian.

He added that her late husband, Mr Wade, was “an icon who committed himself to building a better and fairer Bermuda for all”.

Ms Simmons-Wade said: “The Progressive Labour Party is seeking a mandate from the people to lead Bermuda on to a road of economic recovery and to rebuild our island.

“There will be tough times ahead and much sacrifice.

“Bermuda, we need a government of resilience.”

She explained: “My family has a very rich legacy, who for generations believed in community service.

“As the wife of the late L. Frederick Wade, my level of social consciousness grew significantly.

“Politics has been an integral part of my life for over 35 years.

“Community service has also been instilled in my triplets, Frederick, Ceola and Kamela.

“As a single parent for 24 years, I understand the struggles of being the sole breadwinner and raising and educating children in our world today.”

She added that, if elected, she would enjoy representing her constituents.

Ms Simmons-Wade said: “I have sat many times being the phone operator for my husband and knowing that you get calls all through the day, all through the night, and to be able to help and assist people at any level is something that I’m looking forward to.”

Mr Dickinson defeated Justin Mathias, of the OBA, by 375 votes to 300 at a by-election in 2018.

Jeff Baron, of the OBA, defeated Kathy Lynn Simmons, of the PLP, in the Warwick North East battle by 493 votes to 428 in 2017.

Mark Pettingill, of the OBA, defeated Dale Butler, of the PLP, by 141 votes in 2012.

Mr Commissiong won Pembroke South East (Constituency 21) in 2012 and 2017, but said last week that he would not be an election candidate after an incident from two years ago resurfaced.

Mr Burt said yesterday: “While minister Dickinson and the C21 team will be focused on communicating with the voters in that seat, he will also have time to focus on executing the economic recovery plan aimed at creating jobs and opportunity that he outlined yesterday.”

The PLP leader admitted that “some politics is tactical” and added that a boundary change in Warwick North East was taken into consideration when candidates were selected.

To read the remarks from the candidates and the Premier, click on the PDF links under “Related Media”