Patrick Brown was just in his last year at Sheffield University back in 2014 when he ran for the Alliance Party as a candidate in the local government election. He succeeded in winning a seat for the first time.
In the last count, Brown succeeded in ousting UUP standing Councillor Walter Lyons by 75.55 votes.
The UUP have had almost five years to lick their wounds and make a comeback for the fifth place but the dynamics of this election are somewhat different from 2014, but Brown is an adept strategist when it comes to working with social media and mobilising his supporters.
Last election the SDLP’s Terry Andrews topped the vote but he was the only nationalist candidate running. This time round Marianne Cleery is running for Sinn Féin and that could affect the transfer of votes to some degree. Some of Andrew’s votes did transfer to Brown last time round.
Speaking after a fundraising quiz held in The Mill at Ballydugan, Patrick Brown said: “I’m delighted and very excited to formally announce my plans to run for re-election to the Rowallane DEA in the May 2019 Local Government Elections.
“This election is a great opportunity for the Alliance Party to build on its growth in Newry Mourne and Down District over the last 4 years. It is also an opportunity for people to express their frustration with the abject failure of our two main political parties in Northern Ireland by voting for a cross-community alternative.
“Given we are without a functioning Government for 761 days with no resolution in sight, Local Government more than ever serves a vital role in leading the way on key issues.
“Over the first term of the new Council, I have worked to be a voice for progressive, liberal and cross-community politics. To stand up for the issues and values that might have otherwise been ignored, and not being afraid to stand up to the bigger parties in the process. This has included leading the way on council transparency, good relations, equal marriage, remaining in the EU, abortion legislation reform, environmental initiatives, new community facilities, economic development projects and much more.
“I have big plans for the forthcoming campaign and what a strengthened Alliance team can achieve in the next Council term. But I need your help to make it happen.
“Here’s how you can get involved in ensuring NMD has a cross-community, progressive voice in the Council chamber for the next four years:
* Sign up to volunteer – if you’d like to help knock doors, deliver leaflets, sort election literature or put up posters, send me a message! If you’re not in my area, I can introduce you to your local candidate – we have an Alliance candidate for each District Electoral Area (DEA) in Newry Mourne and Down District Council.
* Donate – if you’d like to donate to help elect Alliance candidates across Newry, Mourne and Down, just message me for details!
* Follow the campaign – get all the campaign updates by following me on Instagram (Cllr Patrick Brown) and liking my Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/cllrpatrickbrown/
* Register to vote – make sure you’re registered and if not, you can now do this online in just a couple of minutes! Only 52% of people voted in NMD in the 2014 Election. Let’s do better this time!
* And finally, if you need details of the process and deadlines for sorting out a postal or proxy vote, just let me know.
“Our politics is Northern Ireland is in a disgraceful mess at the moment, and by voting Alliance your vote WILL count in making a difference and ensuring your voice is actually heard.”