Challenge: Scott Simmons and Shawn Crockwell, left and centre, both seek to take the seat from Charlie Swan, right, in Southampton West Central. *File photos
Challenge: Scott Simmons and Shawn Crockwell, left and centre, both seek to take the seat from Charlie Swan, right, in Southampton West Central. *File photos
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MONDAY, FEBRUARY 20: Cabinet Office press attaché Scott Simmons was today adopted as the PLP candidate for Southampton West Central.

The Constituency 31 seat — held by the UBP’s Charlie Swan — was regarded as safe, but he will also be challenged by the OBA’s Sean Crockwell.

Mr Simmons said: “I’ve been a person who has been involved with the media and in order to be accurate in the positioning of the party, you have to have your finger on the pulse of the community and the grass roots.”

But Mr Simmons added that the party also needs to understand business, particularly international business, to best promote Bermuda.

He admitted: “It will be an uphill struggle against Charlie Swan and Shawn Crockwell, but I asked for this.

“There was an opportunity for me to go out there and learn and use that, plot my own course and work hard.

“I didn’t necessarily want to go into a safe seat. I wanted to be in an area where I would have to work. I put the emphasis on making gains rather than holding on to the seats we have.”

Mr Simmons, 44, who has held a variety of posts in Government over the last few years, was described by Premier Paula Cox as an integral part of “the White House team” — the political staff at Cabinet Office.

Ms Cox added: “We have a wonderful blend of experience, youth and wisdom. I’m glad that he has been selected to be the candidate in Constituency 31.”

Mr Simmons said: “I can’t think of a greater calling than to be able to serve my country. I have seen how hard we all work and I’m proud to be part of the PLP and our Government.”

Mr Simmons was announced at a meeting at the PLP’s Alaska Hall headquarters today, which was attended by his daughter Isabella, 5, and party veteran Ann Pinder.

Ms Pinder, 86, who now lives with her son in Michigan, was a founding member of the Bermuda Workers’ Association and the PLP, and part of the struggle for workers and civil rights on the island.

Ms Pinder, originally from Pembroke, said: “The Bermuda Workers’ Association is where we started everything from. We went from there to the Bermuda Industrial Union and after that we branched out into the PLP.

“I’ve seen a few changes — I was one of the members when the party started and I’m still a supporter. I will be PLP until I die.”