30 Year Old Independent Claire Sugden and former Justice Minister has been the first elected MLA for the East Londonderry constituency with 7555 votes in 8th count.
Claire broke the news to social media followers via Facebook and Twitter over an hour ago that she reached the quota but there was no official declaration until now 22.05 Friday 3rd March 2017.
In 2008, Claire Sugden began working as a parliamentary assistant for David McClarty, then-UUP MLA for East Londonderry, a role she maintained until her co-option in 2014. In 2011, she managed McClarty’s campaign for East Londonderry after he resigned from the Ulster Unionist Party and stood as an independent unionist. She was co-opted as a member of Coleraine Borough Council in 2013 after McClarty resigned his seat on the council. She was nominated to succeed him in in his seat in February 2014 after he fell ill.
After his death in April 2014, Sugden was co-opted as the MLA for East Londonderry, becoming one of the youngest MLAs in the Northern Ireland Assembly.
In 2016 the DUP’s Maurice Bradley was the first candidate to be elected in the East Londonderry constituency.