Ulster Unionist candidate John McDermott has pledged to “fight a positive” campaign in next month’s by-election in the Carrick Castle ward.
In a statement, Mr. McDermott said: “It is unfortunate that due to an oversight, the route of co-option is not available and a by-election is unavoidable. However, I am determined to fight a positive campaign and offer the people in the Carrick Castle area an opportunity to fill the vacancy left by the sad passing of Jimmy Brown with someone who will be equally determined to fight for their well-being and put their interests first.
“I am proud to campaign under the banner of the Ulster Unionist Party and feel completely at home with the style and platform of the party. I know that they are the only alternative to the scandal hit shambles that currently masquerades as the ‘lead party’ in unionism.
“Indeed the prospect of another identikit DUP councillor, doing whatever his political masters in Ballymena tells him to do, should fill any thinking person in Carrickfergus with dread.
“Local government should be about local issues, and I am offering myself as a Carrickfergus resident of 38 years who has brought his family up in the town and wants to see it progress economically and socially.
“After gaining an apprenticeship as an electrician at Harland and Wolff, I joined the Territorial Army Reserve of the North Irish Horse.
“In 1979, I joined the RUC and retired from the Police Service of Northern Ireland at the rank of Detective Sergeant.
“More recently I have successfully run a local photography and picture framing business and have qualified as a personal fitness trainer.
“My wife and I moved to Carrickfergus in 1980 and we have two sons, two daughters-in-law and six grandchildren. In my spare time, I play in a gospel music band.”