DUP select three candidates for the Lagan River election battle

DUP candidates for Lagan River Mark Baxter, Hazel Gamble and Paul Rankin.
DUP candidates for Lagan River Mark Baxter, Hazel Gamble and Paul Rankin.

Three candidates have been selected by the DUP to run for the council elections on May 22 in the Lagan River DEA which takes in Donaghcloney, Waringstown, Dromore, Gransha and Quilly.

Best known locally is current Mayor of Craigavon Borough Council Mark Baxter. Mark lives in Donaghcloney and was first elected in May 2011 to Craigavon Borough Council.

Mark is 35 and lives in Donacloney with wife Joanna and two young daughters Charlotte and Faith.

He takes a keen interest in showing dogs and is an active member of the Basset hound club of NI. He is also a member of Donacloney LOL 75. As an electrical engineer he has worked all over the UK and is now working in technical sales and design at a local engineering firm.

He was first elected to Craigavon Borough Council in 2011 and was chair of the policy and resources committee in 2012. In 2013 he had the honour of being elected as first citizen and as such sits on all council committees.

Gransha man Paul Rankin was first elected to represent the Dromore DEA 14 years ago in a by-election in May 2000 and has subsequently been re-elected in May 2001, 2005 and 2011.

Paul (37) is married to Cheri and has lived in the Dromore area all his life. Paul was educated at Dromore High School and Lisburn College, studying Business and Finance.

Hazel Gamble was first elected to Dromore DEA in May 2011 and presently holds the position of Vice-chair of Banbridge District Council.

Born and raised on a farm in Skeogh, Hazel attended Dromore High School and went on to graduate from the University of Ulster with a BA Honours Degree in Business Studies.

She has worked for Edwin Poots MLA for the past nine years, delivering on the day to day issues affecting constituents such as housing, roads and planning.

Hazel has a strong Christian faith, sings in family gospel group and helps run a local Sunday school.

Hazel has served as a local councillor for the past three years and has served on all committees including the role of vice chair on the Environmental Services Committee.

She was also highly honoured for the past year to serve as Vice Chairperson of Banbridge District Council.

Talking about her future priorities Hazel stated, “It is my aim within the new council structures to ensure that my constituency both town and rural is well represented and that their views are well articulated and their voice heard.”

DUP canvassers will be advising electors to vote DUP 1-2-3 and then to transfer to other pro-union candidates.