Andrew Simons to Contest By-Election in Constituency #13, Devonshire North Central.
On Monday, December 14th, Premier Michael Dunkley introduced Andrew Simons as the OBA candidate for the upcoming by-election in Constituency #13, Devonshire North Central.
The Premier said he was proud and excited to announce Mr. Simons as the candidate and said: “Andrew has emerged from a number of good people who put their names forward to be our candidate in this bye-election, and I am excited because he is an immensely capable young Bermudian whose candidacy, when you boil it down, is driven by love of country. Andrew is fired by a deep commitment to make Bermuda work better at every level and by confidence in his abilities to make a difference. I think you need that in politics – that fire and that belief to actually bring about change.”
Mr. Simons waged a spirited campaign in Constituency 17, Pembroke Central, an opposition stronghold, in the 2012 General Election. Despite being unsuccessful, he has continued to contribute to the OBA and the Premier added: “Andrew will not let you down. He is a man of his word and a man of conviction, who understands the meaning of public service. He is a new generation leader who carries a far-sighted commitment to building a Bermuda that works for people in every sphere of life. That’s what we’re working for as a government, and Andrew’s candidacy is an opportunity to support that commitment.”
Announcing his candidacy in the Mary Victoria Road neighbourhood, Mr. Simons said: “This is one of the vibrant, diverse, and close-knit neighbourhoods in Constituency #13, Devonshire North Central. I am honoured to have been selected to run here for the One Bermuda Alliance. I am running for Parliament because I am passionate about public policy, and I recognize that many major problems can only be resolved through the political process. Bermuda faces some difficult decisions in the next few years in areas as diverse as reducing the debt and providing services to an aging population.”
Acknowledging there are no simple solutions to these problems, Mr. Simons said: “We need to have island-wide conversations about the choices and trade-offs we face. In addition, some of these problems will require cooperation between the Government and Opposition. As an officer in the Royal Bermuda Regiment for the past six years, I have taken an interest in the welfare of my troops. I have seen them and their families struggle to find jobs, pay for health insurance, negotiate the court system, and keep a roof over their heads. Fortunately, the economy is improving under the OBA government. However, many people in the community continue to feel the impact of the great recession.”
Saying voters were tired of "politics as usual", Mr. Simons said he believes that an MP's role is to serve his constituents, to listen, and to assist. “I live in Devonshire, so I see the issues that are important to this constituency such as illegal dumping. I wish each constituent to know that I am available to assist with the personal challenges they face. I want to be a resource for them,” he said.
Mr. Simons graduated from the Berkeley Institute before going to the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut. He attended Stanford University in California as a Bermuda Government scholar and graduated in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and a master’s degree in chemical engineering. He worked at Boston-based technology firm EMC before moving back to Bermuda eight years ago to work in reinsurance as a catastrophe modeller and risk analyst.
After returning home in 2007, Mr. Simons was called up by the Royal Bermuda Regiment and was commissioned as an officer in 2009. He has served as an immediate response team commander for the past two hurricane season and was recently promoted to the rank of Acting Captain.
A member of the Bermuda Health Council, Mr. Simons was instrumental in encouraging the BeHC to pursue employers who do not provide health insurance for their employees. He said his experience on the board of CedarBridge Academy and the Pembroke Parish Council has shown how challenging it can be to get things done in Government.
Mr. Simons concluded: “I believe that I have the skills, commitment, energy, and integrity to serve the interests of this constituency well. I look forward to meeting all the residents of Devonshire North Central, from Prospect in the west to Loyal Hill and Chaingate Hill in the east, over the coming weeks.”