The SDLP has selected community first responder Emmajayne McKernan as its 2023 local election candidate for the Cusher DEA.
The SDLP’s Sharon Haughey-Grimley – a former Lord Mayor – held the seat for a long time in Cusher before she took a step back from politics. The party were unable to get across the line in Cusher in the subsequent 2019 local election.
Ms McKernan is standing for the first time and will hope to reverse that result.
Speaking at her official selection in Basil Sheils, Tassagh, Emmajayne McKernan said: “I am extremely humbled by the support I have received since I announced my candidacy for the Local Council elections next year.
“I know that I am stepping forward at a time of deep frustration in politics, when ordinary people are struggling and meaningful help and support on such basic issues doesn’t exist.
“As a mother of four children and a community first responder, I am acutely aware of the issues faced by families and young people locally. The cost of living crisis and access to basic life saving services are just some of the struggles our community is faced with daily. I want to be a new voice for those issues in order to bring meaningful change to our community.”
“The SDLP is in my DNA and I am determined to follow in the footsteps of the first-class representation provided by Sharon Haughey, Tom Canavan and Seamus Mallon in the past. I am going to fight for every household in Cusher and I hope to be a Councillor this area can be proud of.”
SDLP Newry and Armagh MLA Justin McNulty added: “At a time when ordinary people are crying out for leadership, Emmajayne has stepped forward to be a new voice for Cusher. People deserve a hardworking representative like Emmajayne who already has a proven desire to put people first.
“That is why I am delighted that Emmajayne McKernan will be the SDLP candidate in next year’s local Council elections in Cusher. As a community first responder and local activist, Emmajayne represents a determined SDLP looking to build a new generation of community leaders who are determined to give of their best across the North to change lives.”