After an unsuccessful bid to win a seat in the Northern Ireland Assembly, UUP Councillor William McCandless has congratulated the six newly elected MLAs for East Londonderry, as well as his running mate Cllr Aaron Callan and election agent Amy McWilliams.
In a statement, Councillor McCandless said : “The UUP fielded candidates who had strengths, gifts and talent, and a willingness to use them for their communities. We wanted to make a difference, we were willing to step up and stand out, when others are content to sit back and blend in.
Because I have not been elected doesn’t change what I believe in my heart, my desires, my passions, my skills, my abilities, my intentions or dreams – but it does change my plans.
The electorate have not chosen me.
I believe the Arlene fear factor of if you don’t vote for the DUP bad things will happen has worked.
I wish to thank my election agent Amy McWilliams who has been a great support to me and particularly for her organisational skills. Also to Aaron Callan my running mate and my team, I couldn’t have asked for more from them.
Congratulations to the successful candidates, I ask you to live up to your pledges to improve East Londonderry.
I will take time to reflect on our campaign and see where we could have improved.
As for me, my life is worth so much more than winning an election. I will continue to serve the community as a councillor. I intend to still work to my parties pledges and what we were hoping to implement. I will just be working at them from a different angle now.
I am not a quitter and this defeat is not going to be what defines me. I may have been knocked down, but I am not knocked out.
In a year where we have seen the celebration of the Easter rebellion and we as Unionists look forward to 2021 I had hoped we could have seen our country move from diametrically opposed politics.
We are not ready for that yet unfortunately.”