Over the past six years as your elected representative, I have focused on working tirelessly on your behalf, full time, all of the time, not just at election time.
Last year I set out my position and priorities for the Londonderry area and outlined my previous record of delivery for the people I represent.
It was an honour to have been elected to the NI Assembly last May.
There has been significant delivery and progress on major projects in the North West. DUP Health Minister Simon Hamilton delivered the new Radiotherapy centre at Altnagelvin Hospital. DRD Minister Michelle McIlveen ensured progress on the A5 and A6 road networks and continued to pursue the refurbishment of the old Waterside railway station.
There has also been significant investment in regeneration projects throughout communities in Londonderry, including play facilities and improvements. There has been investment in our tourism industry and funding provided for many events.
I have lobbied strongly with Ministerial colleagues to ensure this vital funding was delivered and that the North West area continues to receive the attention it needs and deserves.
There has been much achieved however there is also much left to do.
When Sinn Féin collapsed the NI Assembly just a few weeks ago, forcing an election, they did so to weaken unionism. Rather than focusing on bringing forward a budget for the incoming year or addressing the health agenda, they focused on their own republican agenda.
As the election draws closer, the true motivation for this election becomes clearer.
We must ensure that Unionism returns to Stormont with the strongest possible position to go into negotiations. The DUP are the only Unionist party running enough candidates to take on the top position.
In Foyle, this will be one of the most important and tightly fought elections.
Last year there were 6 seats in each constituency however this year this has been reduced to 5. In the Foyle constituency we must ensure that the only Unionist voice is protected. In the May 2016 election, the DUP polled 4737 first preference votes with the UUP polling 1420 votes and the independent candidate Maurice Devenney polling 1173 votes.
When the UUP and Devenney were eliminated, 415 of their combined vote transferred directly to the SDLP and 250 did not transfer.
It is vital that Unionist voters in the Foyle constituency transfer to fellow Unionists. If the advice of Mike Nesbitt is followed, the only Unionist seat in Londonderry is in jeopardy.
Over the past number of weeks myself and my team have been knocking the doors and we’ve heard a clear message on the doorsteps.
The unionist community want unionists to work together to ensure they secure the only unionist seat in this constituency.
I’m standing in this election because I believe I am the best candidate to represent my constituents.
I am asking that you vote Middleton, number one, and transfer to other Unionists to help secure the only unionist seat in this constituency.