TUV leader, Jim Allister, has revealed that Ballymoney councillor Audrey Patterson will run alongside him in the forthcoming Assembly elections.
The news was announced on Saturday night at a fund-raising dinner in the Causeway Hotel, Bushmills, where close on one hundred activists gathered.
Mr. Allister said it would give the party a geographical spread across the constituency, with him focusing on Ballymena and Cllr Patterson concentrating on Ballymoney and Moyle.
Unanimously selected Cllr Patterson said she was delighted to go forward for the only unionist party which had “stuck by its principles” and was looking forward to the battle ahead.
“Having been a life long resident of the Ballymoney area and raised my family in Finvoy, I care deeply about North Antrim and its people. If I can bring service to the local people in Stormont, then I would be honoured to speak and work for them.”
Cllr. Patterson has just completed six years service on Ballymoney Council. She worked for over 20 years in the health service and serves as a Governor of local schools. She is particularly interested in the key issues of health and education.
She further commented, “Over recent years we’ve seen many jobs lost in Ballymoney and while I see the Stormont regime pumping jobs and new factories into Newry and elsewhere, Ballymoney has been forgotten and badly let down. Only recently the DUP DETI Minister announced another £38m business park for Newry. Why has the DUP not brought such opportunity to Ballymoney? Now, even the upgrading of the A26 is postponed so that Sinn Fein’s Dublin/Donegal motorway can be built. It’s time Ballymoney got a fair deal.”
Commenting Mr. Allister said, “I am very pleased to have a running mate of the calibre and standing of Audrey Patterson. Audrey is a Unionist of conviction and principle, she will not let the people of North Antrim down, either in faithful constituency service or in standing firm against the Sinn Fein agenda. Many feel disillusioned by the broken pledges of the past, but TUV exists because we are Unionists who stick to our principles.
“In North Antrim we see every opportunity of lifting two seats and, therefore, having candidates in both the north and the south of the constituency makes sense. If successful, it also guarantees balanced constituency service allowing full-time offices in both Ballymoney and Ballymena.
“It is my sense that the ongoing failure of Stormont, its endless deadlock, massive waste and the ruination brought by unaccountable Sinn Fein ministers to education and water, and the desire to avoid more of the same, will swell the TUV vote. It is time for real change for the better and time to bring basic democracy to Stormont, including the right to change our government and the right to have an Opposition.
“On 5th May voters will have the option of voting for meaningful, attainable change or voting for more of the deadlock and failure of the last four years. I believe that increasingly people are fed up with the non-delivery of Stormont and with all the broken promises. TUV is the obvious choice for everyone seeking to demand change and proper democracy.
“In this election there is also the opportunity to capture five of the six North Antrim seats for Unionism. Thus, we are very clear that when people have voted 1 and 2 for TUV they should use their further preferences for the other unionist candidates. In that way the entire unionist family can benefit and we can win back a seat from nationalism.”