The Ulster Unionist Party has selected Councillor Doug Beattie MC, Jo-Anne Dobson MLA and Kyle Savage as its Assembly candidates for Upper Bann.
Ulster Unionist leader, Mike Nesbitt MLA, said:
"The Ulster Unionist Party has an embarrassment of riches in Upper Bann and I am only sorry we could not run five candidates, because we have at least that number of politicians capable of offering excellent representation during the next Assembly mandate.
"I congratulate Doug Beattie, Jo-Anne Dobson and Kyle Savage on their selections and look forward to supporting their campaign in the coming weeks.
"I also pay tribute to Sam Gardiner, who is standing down from Stormont after a term as Father of the House. His guidance and good humour have been invaluable to me over the course of the last five years and I am delighted he has accepted the position of Vice-President of the Ulster Unionist Party.
"I also want to say how supportive I am of Colin McCusker's decision not to stand on this occasion, concentrating instead on his role as the Party's General Manager. We have come on massively as an organisation in recent years, to the point where we can expect to mount our most professional electoral campaign of modern times this May. Clearly, if Colin had stood, he would not have been able to devote the time that is required to the Election. It is another example of living the Ulster Unionist credo of Country First, Party Second and Individual Third."
Councillor Doug Beattie MC said:
“After a long military career it was my desire to serve my community that first led me to stand for my local authority. It is that same desire that now leads me to stand for the Northern Ireland Assembly having been selected as one of three Ulster Unionist candidates to fight the Upper Bann constituency. My decision to join the Ulster Unionist Party in 2014 came after a long period of thought, engagement and dialogue and I am in no doubt I have made the right decision.
“The Ulster Unionist party offers Northern Ireland a progressive path to stability and prosperity leaving behind that old style politics that has blighted this country for so long. For me it is the opportunity to offer the Upper Bann electorate a set of simple values and standards that have served me for so long; loyalty, integrity, discipline, courage, selfless commitment and above all respect for others. I hope the electorate can see in me someone who will work tirelessly for all communities in Upper Bann without favour and I hope they will play their part come the election on the 5thMay 2016 and vote Ulster Unionist.”
Jo-Anne Dobson MLA said:
“It is an honour and privilege to serve the people of Upper Bann as their MLA and I am delighted to be selected by my party to stand alongside Cllr Doug Beattie MC and Kyle Savage in May’s Assembly elections.
“It is always a privilege to serve the people of the constituency in which I was born, brought up and live and I once again thank those who continually put their trust in me to deliver for them, whatever the issue.
"Working alongside my Ulster Unionist colleagues in Europe, at Westminster and in local Council we deliver an effective and successful constituency service to everyone in Upper Bann. I have maintained a consistent work record and if re-elected to the Assembly I pledge to continue that proud record of doing what's right for Northern Ireland."
Kyle Savage said:
“I consider it a huge honour to have been selected by the Ulster Unionist Party to fight this Assembly election. I thoroughly enjoyed my spell as a Lurgan Councillor on the former Craigavon Council before it was dissolved at the end of March last year. In Upper Bann, the Savage name is synonymous with community service, and I know my late Father, George, would be thrilled that I was following in his footsteps and putting my name before the people in seeking to become an MLA. I’m looking forward to fighting a strong campaign with Doug and Jo-Anne, and I am confident we can return three Ulster Unionist MLAs for Upper Bann.”