Currently the only mainstream unionist candidate declared in Mid Ulster for the Westminster election, the UUP’s Sandra Overend said she would “be more than happy” if the DUP got behind her as well.
She made the comments to the Mail, just days before the DUP and UUP agreed to field one unity candidate in each of four general election constituencies, but not in Mid Ulster.
The mother-of-three, with concerns about internet safety, a passion for politics and Northern Ireland’s place within the UK, said she wants to represent Mid Ulster, not because she’s a woman - but because she can do the job.
Reaching out to both men and women alike, the accountant with an almost fifteen-year career in politics, said she would relish the opportunity to speak out for those who share her opinions.
And unlike current representation, Sandra pointed out that she would be on the floor of the House of Commons making those views heard.
No unionist pact mentioned for Mid Ulster in Westminster election.
“If the DUP want to support me as a candidate I would be more than happy,” Mrs Overend told the Mail.
“It’s about representing our concerns on the floor of the House of Commons and if I was elected that is exactly where I would be. I would be taking my seat.
“In an election people need to know that people with my views are there... representing their concerns.
“First and foremost as an Ulster Unionist, I believe in the union of Northern Ireland with the rest of the United Kingdom,” she went on. The Ulster Unionist Party has a vision to do what’s right for all the people of Northern Ireland.
“We’re a party who put the people first. We don’t put personal party gain as our priority,” she added.
“The current shenanigans that are going on doesn’t deliver. People are so frustrated with politics and unfortunately they tar us all with the same brush.
“I want to make changes, I want to make a difference and for Mid Ulster the economy is the number one priority.
“Mid Ulster is a very successful region for Northern Ireland in terms of manufacturing, engineering and construction and throughout my term in the assembly I have been working to support that sector.”
It’s about representing our concerns on the floor of the House of Commons and if I was elected that is exactly where I would be. I would be taking my seat
As well as supporting industry through improved infrastructure, broadband and mobile phone connectivity, Mrs Overend said that, if elected, she would also like to work towards creating a “proper joined-up” approach to attracting further investment and ensuring the right skills are being taught, to help growth.
“We need businesses to work with government and the government to work with the schools so that we have the right people coming through with the right skills,” she said.
“I can’t emphasise the importance of that enough as it’s something that I have been working towards no matter what committee I am on - There’s always more that can be done.”