David Petty *Photo by Don Burgess
David Petty *Photo by Don Burgess

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 21: The battle for Pembroke South West just got more interesting.

We broke the story online on Monday that former UBP candidate and Clerk of the House David Petty will run as an independent in Constituency 20.

He will face independent candidate Jonathan Starling, PLP candidate Marcus Jones, and a yet-to-be-announced OBA candidate.

Mr Petty told us he is running to strike a more balanced view than the PLP and the OBA.

In the 2007 General Election, the UBP’s Louise Jackson won the seat by a comfortable 566-vote margin over the PLP’s LaVerne Furbert.

Ms Jackson has since joined the OBA but will be retiring.

The seat is generally considered a “safe seat” for the OBA but Mr Petty said he “is hoping to change that”.

Mr Petty is the president and CEO of consultancy firm Somers Drake. His family has lived in the area for several hundred years and he believes voters have not been getting fair representation “from the OBA or the PLP”.

In the 1998 election Mr Petty ran against the PLP’s Ottiwell Simmons and Nelson Bascome, winning just seven per cent of the vote.

“I have experience in running and I have experience in the House from ‘97 to ‘98.”

He worked as a management consultant in London for 12 years with a variety of companies including KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Lloyds and Sabrix.

Mr Petty mostly dealt with good governance, change management and business turnaround.

“I feel I have good experience to help with where we are today. I feel I can represent Pembroke South West well. I have a couple of different views than both the OBA and the PLP.”

Using the economy as an example, he said: “The PLP is potentially being too protectionist whereas the OBA is at the other end of the spectrum. It’s like taking a sledgehammer to a nut. A more balanced approach is required.

“I’ve been working for a local firm here for the last 12 months, helping them improve their business and that’s now come to a conclusion and I saw this as an opportunity to represent my country.”

He added that although the Health Ministry has helped over the last term with medical issues for older constituents, “that needs to be explored further”.

Mr Petty describes himself as a liberal socio-capitalist.

“While I feel we need capitalism in Bermuda to survive, I think we need to balance that with a  degree of social care and light regulation for people who can’t look after themselves, whether they be the elderly, the young, prisoners or the homeless.

“And we need to be more agile in doing and being more efficient in going about getting it done.”

Mr Petty said he will be issuing an official platform before the end of the week.