[Updated with video] The One Bermuda Alliance confirmed that Rodney Smith will stand for them in Constituency #32 Southampton West, and challenge the PLP’s Randy Horton, who has already been confirmed as the candidate for the area.
Mr Smith, who previously served as a PLP candidate, founded R.A.S. Construction and built and sold houses for 20 years, and is also known for his programme involving teaching people how to buy a house for little or no money down.
He was educated at Heron Bay and Sandys Secondary, and went on to Oakwood University in Alabama, where he was awarded first a Bachelor’s degree in Pastoral Studies, then a Masters degree. He is a well-known talk show caller, and was crowned ‘The Real Fish Cake King’ of Bermuda in 1998.
In the 2007 General Election, Mr Horton won 69.03% of the vote vs the UBP’s Charlie Swan [629–366]. Mr Swan was subsequently elected in a bye-election held in the neighbouring Constituency #31 Southampton West Central.
The OBA has now rolled out 32 of 36 candidates, with their candidates for C#34 Sandys South Central, C#29 Southampton East, C#20 Pembroke South West, and C#14 Devonshire North West to be announced.
Update 10.54am: Mr Smith said: “I stand here today, under the banner of the OBA, because I believe that it is the only political party in Bermuda able and willing to seriously address these issues.
“And I believe that Bermuda needs the OBA just now. We certainly can’t go on the way we have been going…change has to come if we are going to stop our economic fall and recapture what we’ve lost.”
Mr Smith’s full statement follows below:
I would like to begin by thanking our Party Leader, Craig Cannonier, and the Candidacy Selection Committee for choosing me to represent the One Bermuda Alliance in Constituency 32.
Many people know me from my efforts to promote housing for first-time home buyers in Bermuda, while others will recognize the sound of my voice over Talk-Radio. I have, over the years, addressed a number of key community concerns such as:
- Reverse mortgages for seniors,
- Drugs and crime,
- Prison reform,
- And last, but by no means least, the economy.
I stand here today, under the banner of the OBA, because I believe that it is the only political party in Bermuda able and willing to seriously address these issues. And I believe that Bermuda needs the OBA just now. We certainly can’t go on the way we have been going…change has to come if we are going to stop our economic fall and recapture what we’ve lost.
I think most people sense that the road we’re travelling down is not the right one for Bermuda, and that if we continue down it, there will be more bad blows for our people and the Island itself – which was once considered a world leader in quality of life.
We must have change. We must get off this road.
I’m putting myself forward as a political candidate because I can’t stand by and do nothing. I want to play a part in the rescue of Bermuda.
Constituency 32 is close to my heart for two good reasons: I have a lot of family and friends who live there, and I once owned property there, along Tribe Road #6.
Constituency 32 will be the home of the largest building project in the history of Bermuda, once the Morgan’s Point Development starts up. It will employ some 500 people and I will try to work to see to it that those within my constituency are among the first in line for any available jobs.
It is my hope that this development will also help to curb the problem we see at White Hill, at the junction of Middle Road and Woodlawn Road, where a number of young men hang out. I am a strong believer that work is a great tool to cure many of our social ills.
Work provides focus, meaning and identity in people’s lives, it provides an opportunity for relationships with others, and it provides a means for human development. It does those things legally, and it does them without hurting others.
Finally, to all those who live in Constituency 32, I would say that am happy to represent you on behalf of the OBA. When it is all said and done, let it be known that the fortunes of Bermuda turned with our victory in Constituency 32!
Update 12.26pm: Video of the full press conference below