FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18: PLP Senator Jonathan Smith is to stand for Parliament in Warwick West.

The former Police Commissioner will take on the seat, a stronghold of the former UBP and now held by the OBA’s Mark Pettingill.

Sen. Smith said yesterday he had close ties to the Warwick community and had lived in the parish, as well as gone to school there.

He added: “Public service has been a big part of my life. As Commissioner, I experienced what it is like have 60,000 residents demanding results.

“I will not shy away from those lessons or that responsibility. Therein is a lesson in public service.”

Sen. Smith added: “The country comes first, the people of Bermuda come first. Everything else is a distant second as far as I’m concerned.”

Sen. Smith – whose brother Tim was a Minister in the last UBP Government – was appointed as a Government Senator earlier this year.

It is thought he will face landscape firm owner Jeff Sousa, 51, at the next general election as Mr Pettingill, seen as a seat winner by the OBA, is likely to take on a tougher challenge in a more marginal constituency.

Mr Pettingill won the seat for the UBP at the 2007 General Election, taking 62 per cent of the vote while the PLP’s George Scott took 37 per cent.

Mr Pettingill later broke away from the UBP to sit as a Bermuda Democratic Alliance MP before signing up with the OBA earlier this year.

Sen. Smith said – introduced as a candidate by Premier Paula Cox at the PLP’s Alaska Hall HQ – added: “We are surrounded today by portraits of great Bermudians who sacrificed blood, sweat and tears for things that many Bermudians now take for granted.

“Just to be respected. The right to sit in a seat of choice in a cinema. The right simply to vote. Their place as Bermudians – equal in all respects – to walk and work on Bermuda soil. I am in their shadow – but the journey is not done.”