Jonny Orr reveals he will stand for election

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Lisburn man Jonny Orr has announced that he will be running as an Independent candidate in the upcoming Stormont Assembly election in May.

Jonny has previously run as an independent candidate in the local council and Westminster elections but failed to secure a seat in either election.

However, he has not given up and with renewed determination he has decided to once again put himself before the people and ask them to vote for something different from the standard political parties.

Officially announcing his candidacy this week, he said he had a vision for the future of Lisburn.

Using social media to make the announcement, he wrote: “Lately I’ve been thinking about my past. I was a troubled kid, but I was lucky that I got to go live with my grandparents.

“They were devout Christians and they never would have supported marriage equality and the other progressive ideas and beliefs I have.

“Times change but the values they taught me are very much part of me. Marjorie and Thomas Gibson showed me incredible love and kindness.

“They showed me the importance of forgiveness. I feel it’s time to pay it forward with every inch of my being.

“With that said, it’s now official - Jonny Orr is on the ballot for the 2016 election and we are taking one of the six seats in Lagan Valley.

“I have a vision for this city. It’s alive and full of colour. People feeling welcome and belonging regardless of sexuality, race or religion, Smiles and music in the air. You can breathe it and you can feel it. Our future is togetherness.”

Jonny will go up against candidates from all of the major parties in Northern Ireland - the DUP, UUP, SDLP, Sinn Fein, and Alliance, as well as the Conservative Party.

Candidates presented their ballot papers to the Electoral Office in Banbridge at the end of last week and a full list of candidates will be published by the Electoral Office next week.

Voters in Lisburn will have started to receive their ballot papers in recent days, posters have been erected by the candidates and their teams have been pounding the pavements and knocking on doors to drum up votes for next month’s election.

Six seats will be up for grabs in the Lagan Valley constituency. In the last election the DUP took four seats - with Jonathan Craig, Paul Givan, Brenda Hale and Edwin Poots being elected. Trevor Lunn was elected for the Alliance Party and Basil McCrea, who was elected on an Ulster Unionist ticket, then left the Party to set up NI21.

However, Mr McCrea recently revealed he would be leaving the political arena and would not be seeking re-election next month.