The count for Castlereagh East is done. I have been excluded and didn’t get in this time but I can’t say how much of a privilege it has been to work and run alongside Cllr Tim Morrow who deserved to get elected for all the work he has done.
I want to thank all those who knocked doors for me, labelled leaflets, delivered letters, sent emails, stuffed envelopes, supported me and spurred me on through the most exciting and humbling experience of my life.
301 votes wasn’t enough for a quota but to be the first openly gay candidate to run in Castlereagh East has been a privilege and an honour and I am grateful to Alliance for asking me to do it.
As far as running mates go, I couldn’t have asked for a better one than Cllr Tim Morrow. Tim has represented his community for the last 4 years and I want to both congratulate him for securing a seat in the new Lisburn/Castlereagh Council and thank him for the faith he placed in me and for allowing me the privilege of running alongside him. He is a capable and inspiring politician and I look forward to working with him again.
A huge thank you goes to my family, friends, colleagues, supporters and all those who believed in me. If I have learned anything through this experience it is that I know now that I can do whatever I set my mind to. This has been an amazing experience and I hope to do it again in 4 years.
I want to congratulate all those Alliance candidates that stepped forward and endeavoured to deliver something new and better for their constituents. You should all be so proud of yourselves for the hard, committed and inspiring campaign that we have all fought side by side.
Congratulations to those candidates in Castlereagh East who secured a seat. I am confident that Sharon Skillen, Tommy Jeffers, Hazel Legge, David Drysdale and Andrew Girvan will work well with Tim in the new council to make our community a better place to live and work.
We still have a lot of work to do and I am overwhelmed by the support that I have received. I promise to represent those 301 constituents that voted for me and those that did not. Not being elected is not the end of the road nor does it mean that my work is done.
I have had a lot of laughs, a lot of fun and I am exhausted but it was worth it. I am confident that Alliance will continue to make headway as the count goes on until Monday and we will continue to deliver for everyone, elected or not.