Fresh face: Newly-elected MP Sylvan Richards as he was sworn in as a Minister at Government House. From left, his father, also Sylvan, daughter Joi and wife Yahaira. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
Fresh face: Newly-elected MP Sylvan Richards as he was sworn in as a Minister at Government House. From left, his father, also Sylvan, daughter Joi and wife Yahaira. *Photo by Kageaki Smith

FRIDAY, DEC. 21:  Newly-elected MP and Minister for Environmetal Planning Sylvan Richards is ready to serve the people of Bermuda anyway that he can.

Mr Richards, 53, is the new MP of Hamilton South after beating the PLP’s Diallo Rabain by 205 votes. The father-of-two was a candidate for the now defunct Bermuda Democratic Alliance in the by-election in Warwick South Central in 2010.

Marc Bean won the seat after former premier Ewart Brown stepped down.

He said the loss taught him a lot about politics.  It was an inevitable lesson to me on how to lose and lose gracefully.

“It definitely helped me in this election in canvassing and having a better idea of how to do it and what to expect.”

Asked how he felt after he won this time, Mr Richards said: “I was happy because I worked hard.

“Not only did I canvass in my  constituency but I also canvassed with other OBA candidates.

“It was a consorted effort and I think it’s a major reason why we were successful.”

He continued: “I felt very satisfied that the constituents saw something in me that made them go to the polls and vote for me.

“It’s a very serious responsibility, I don’t take it lightly.

“I intend to be active in the constituency. I’ve developed relationships that I’m going to nurture.”

Mr Richards said he is hopeful that by the time the next election comes around, he will have put in the work so that he is voted in again.

As far as what the OBA needs to do as the new government, Mr Richards said: “Well obviously we have to get the economy going and that’s just number one.

New jobs

“We have to create jobs for Bermudians. If Bermudians are working, it takes the strain out of other areas. We need to bring down the debt.”

He continued: “We need to continue to make Bermuda safe and secure. Of course education needs to get back on track.

“We have to educate our people so that they can participate in this new economy that’s technology driven with very specific skill sets.”

Speaking on the OBA’s win, Mr Richards said he felt his party offered better candidates for Bermudians and worked hard on the doorstep.

He continued: “This is an exciting time in Bermuda’s history.

“Why do I say that? Bermudians have been suffering for a few years now economically.

“We have been hit with a crime wave that caught the previous government flat-footed.

“We have challenges with education. What that means is that we are presented with a great opportunity to almost reinvent Bermuda in a way that most Bermudians can be into.”

Mr Richards is an insurance underwriter at AWAC. He studied at Howard University.

He is married to Yahaira, 27. He has two daughters, Sharia, 32 and Joi, 14.