The nine TUV candidates announced for the new super council of Mid & East Antrim contain a mix of new faces and those with past political service.
In Ballymena town TUV will field two newcomers to the electoral fray, Donna Anderson and Matthew Armstrong. Both have deep community links and TUV believes they will be strong contenders in the fight for the seven seats in the town.
In the Braid retired RUC officer, Brian Collins, from the Moorfields area, will challenge for a seat on behalf of TUV.
While in Bannside, where Roy Gillespie is stepping down after 40 years, two of the youngest candidates will mount the TUV challenge, sitting councillor Timothy Gaston, who only joined the council last year, but has made his mark within the chamber, and the well known player manager of Ahoghill Thistle FC, Stewart McDonald.
Commenting on the announcement of the TUV line up of candidates, party leader Jim Allister, said he was pleased with the range and quality of the candidates and look forward to campaigning with them from Islandmagee to Portglenone.
Accompanying the candidates at the launch of their campaign, Jim Allister, said he was looking for significant growth in the TUV presence on the new council.
He said: “I strongly sense that more and more the TUV message is resonating with voters, many of whom are fed up with the failures of Stormont but see in TUV a party that can deliver, as we have with Ann’s Law for victims and a recent success on pension rights for RUC widows.
“The crisis in our health service, under the DUP minister, and the threats to local residential homes and hospitals, and many other disappointments, are causing many to question their old voting allegiances.
“We are, therefore, looking for growth in this election. The TUV brand speaks strongly to delivering accountability and fearless defence of both local and provincial issues of importance.”