I've deliberately kept away from blogging about my recent campaign as a Welsh Liberal Democrat candidate for the Welsh Assembly's Mid & West Wales regional list until now, because it may have been construed as an active campaigning tool.
But now it's all over, I can blog about it!
4 Candidates, 4 Hustings!
I decided to stand for the party on the list as the Mid & West Wales region as it encompasses the entirety of my life. I was born and bred in Pembrokeshire, educated in Carmarthenshire and have been living for the past 10 years in Ceredigion since originally going to Aberystwyth to study as a student.
I've been a Councillor now for 6 years but this is the first time I've put my name forward as a candidate for the Welsh Assembly. It took in 4 hustings across the region - in Builth Wells, Newtown, Narberth and Aberaeron. There were 4 candidates - myself, Bill Powell, Ed Wilson and Steffan John.
The hustings were well attended and were certainly something slightly new to me! A quick 5 minute pitch from each of the candidates seperately was then followed by a Q&A session between all the candidates. I felt the level of debate and engagement was excellent and the four of us did the party proud during the entire process.
We all got on as well. Kirsty Williams AM, our party leader, appeared in the audience during the first hustings (as if we weren't nervous enough!) and made the good point at the end, that it's an odd and difficult experience when standing against fellow party colleagues who most often than not, are good friends. She's quite right.
After weeks of campaigning and canvassing members around the region, we got our result on Monday. I was pleased to have finished a strong second behind Brecon & Radnor Powys Councillor, Bill Powell. Bill was our lead candidate for the region the last time in 2007 and I look forward to campaigning alongside him and all of my colleagues in the months to come.
It was a fantastic experience and I would recommend those who want to have their voice heard to do so and to put their name forward to stand - be it a local government, or national level.