I've just been reading Glyn Davies's blog, something I haven't done for a while. One comment struck me from a person questioning my commitment to the campaign in Montgomeryshire since I don't live there full time. It was nice of Glyn to stick up for me, but still, I think it's something worth addressing here as well.
No, I don't live in Montgomeryshire and I've never lied about that. I'm based in Cardiff, and work across Wales. I try to be in Montgomeryshire every weekend during which I stay with my Grandmother in Newtown, and at least one night a week for meetings. Is this ideal? Well no, obviously not. All the travelling can be quite tiring and I haven't been able to catch up with many of my friends for a few months. But am I complaining? Well obviously not as it was my choice to apply to be a candidate in the seat and I'm truly enjoying the campaign. Unfortunately, in order to be able to develop my career, and more importantly, pay my bills, I can't afford to move to Maldwyn and campaign full time. I wish I could, but the reality is that very few people can afford not to work and just focus on trying to be elected. I truly envy those who can as it definitely gives them an advantage. I did look for jobs in Mid Wales before being selected as a candidate, but couldn't find anything at the time as the recession was just starting. So I went for another job that I'm really enjoying and which brought me closer to Montgomeryshire so I could be there regularly.
I can assure everyone that the moment the election is called, I'll be campaigning full time and taking unpaid leave. Until then, I'll do as much as I possibly can and I am running to win. The relaunch will hopefully send a clear message that we're taking the seat and the election seriously. I am totally committed to Mongtomeryshire and the campaign. It means a great deal to me, and I feel honoured to have been selected by the local party to fight the seat. I'm determined not to let them down.