Former Leitrim TD, Senator and Councillor Gerry Reynolds is looking to return to the world of politics as he seeks his party’s nomination for the next General Election.
Last week, the Leitrim Observer had suggested that the Ballinamore native, now living in Carrick-on-Shannon, would be seeking selection at the upcoming Fine Gael Convention for Sligo/Leitrim on September 18.
The withdrawal of Cllr John McCartin paved the way for the well-known businessman to seek selection. He has been nominated to the party by a number of Fine Gael Cumainn in West Cavan and South Leitrim.
Reynolds says he looks forward over the coming weeks to meeting the Fine Gael members to discuss party strategy and to “ensure that we have the best possible chance of winning two Dáil seats in this new, vast and challenging constituency.”
Gerry Reynolds served two terms as TD, two terms in the Seanad, and almost 30 years as a Councillor up until 2014. He withdrew his name from the council elections due to “personal reasons.” Reynolds will be competing against fellow Leitrim man Michael Comiskey for a place on the Fine Gael ticket.
Senator and spokesperson for Agriculture, Michael Comiskey is also actively seeking the nomination after being forced to withdraw his name from the race in 2011. At that convention, Fine Gael Headquarters sent down orders for two Sligo candidates, instructions that angered North Leitrim members.
Comiskey told the Leitrim Observer, “In light of the boundaries change, which sees the former Sligo North Leitrim constituency now expanded to include all of Leitrim, South Donegal and West Cavan, I believe it is crucial that we would have a Fine Gael candidate in this area. I am based in the heart of the constituency, in Manorhamilton, and I am within easy access of South Donegal and West Cavan also.”
Sitting Deputy Tony McLoughlin will be hoping to seek re-election at the convention as well as Deputy John Perry. There is also speculation that a female candidate is also in the race.
Fine Gael HQ have yet to specify how many candidates the party will run in the election. They may also send down a geographic preference for candidates.