Danny Kennedy has been endorsed unanimously by Newry and Armagh Ulster Unionist Association as the party’s candidate for the forthcoming Assembly election on March 2.
Mr Kennedy said he was “enormously humbled and proud to be chosen as the Ulster Unionist Party candidate”.
He said that both he and his party would campaign on a positive basis and offer a “constructive alternative to the dysfunctional style of government offered by the two largest parties at present”.
His nomination was ratified at the annual general meeting of Newry and Armagh Ulster Unionist Association in Markethill.
A large turnout of members and elected representatives gathered at the meeting, where the guest speaker was Ulster Unionist Assembly member for South Antrim Steve Aiken OBE.
Mr Aiken is a former member of the Royal Navy, serving for many years as a Submarine Commander.
He provided an insight into his time as a member of the armed forces and also spoke about how he became involved in local politics.
Both MLAs Mr Kennedy and Mr Aiken provided an overview of the current political crisis affecting the devolved institutions in Northern Ireland and discussed with members the impending Assembly election.