FRIDAY, NOV. 25: The OBA’s Mark Pettingill is to swap constituencies to take on the PLP’s Dale Butler in Warwick North East.

As reported in the Bermuda Sun earlier this month, Mr Pettingill, who holds the Warwick West seat, will be replaced by landscape firm chief Jeff Sousa .

The party also announced that telecommunications engineer Ray Charlton will try to make a connection with voters in the Sandys North seat won comfortably by Government Estates Minister Michael Scott in 2007.

Lawyer Mr Pettingill said the party had asked him to “step out of his comfort zone” to fight a tougher seat and that he was happy to take up the challenge.

He added: “We need change because the island, under this Government, has drifted into an era of crises – in public safety, in the education of our children and in our economy, where full employment has been replaced by thousands of jobless and shrinking paycheques.

“Bermuda can’t continue down this path. It needs to change its ways. It needs a fresh start and the best way to make that happen is change the Government.”

Mr Sousa – who was the UBP adopted candidate after Mr Pettingill switched to the Bermuda Democratic Alliance before joining the OBA – said: “I know seniors who lock themselves in their homes for fear of crime.

“I know young people who are afraid to travel to the next parish for fear of being caught in the wrong territory. These are the kinds of things people live with each day. They cannot be allowed to continue. We have to fight for change, for something better.”

Mr Charlton, 53, vice president of Keytech’s Cable Co. Ltd, said he had been inspired to enter politics to protect Bermuda’s natural heritage.

“Although the environment is dear to my heart, there are other, more critical matters that require our urgent attention. A weak economy with serious job losses, an education system that underserves our children and a rise in violent crime that endangers families and our way of life – these are all issues that will only get better with the concerted efforts of a dedicated team.”