Two MPs emerge from Hamilton East electorate
The general election may be over but candidate Jamie Strange is already preparing ‘‘to win the Hamilton East seat in 2020’’.
‘‘You never quite know what the future holds,’’ said Strange, reflecting on his campaign.
Strange stood for Labour in Hamilton East and missed out on the seat to National incumbent David Bennett by 5500 votes.
However, he is set to begin his maiden term in government, entering as a Labour List MP for Hamilton.
‘‘It’s a huge honour to be elected to parliament. I’m really humbled by the opportunity and I’m very keen to be a strong advocate for Hamilton,’’ he said.
‘‘It is a bit of a surprise. You have a long-term plan and my plan did go a little further than this. I’d like to be in parliament for a number of years, representing the people of Hamilton, and one of my goals will be to win the Hamilton East seat in 2020.’’
For four years, Strange has been covering ground in politics.
In 2013 he stood for Hamilton City Council, placing ninth out of 27, and the next year, he ran as the Labour candidate in the Taupo electorate.
As a List MP for Hamilton, Strange will be focusing on improving health, transport, housing, education and community policing.
‘‘We have empty police stations dotted across the city, while the police are centralised at the bottom end of Victoria St.
‘‘We need our hard-working police officers back in our communities.’’
Strange will divide his time between Hamilton and Wellington, and thanked his wife Angela and family for supporting him along the political pathway.
Preliminary results have National’s David Bennett claiming the Hamilton West seat with 16,449 votes.
‘‘Hamilton had the most to lose if we had a change of Govern- ment,’’ Bennett said.
‘‘We made a plan for the next decade. Labour has given no significant capital investments to the area.
‘‘I felt that the public would look at what was in the interest of Hamilton and that (National) has a strong history of delivery.’’
Bennett said Hamilton was performing well.
People have a confidence in the city and understand the importance and success of growth, he said.
‘‘Every campaign has its own challenges. This campaign was different in the sense that it was mostly a drag race between National and Labour.’’
Bennett said Hamilton East follows national trends and mirrors a National campaign.
He will continue campaigning for the Road of National Significance linking Hamilton to Tauranga.
Hamilton East National MP David Bennett receives congratulations from Hamilton East Labour candidate Jamie Strange during election night.