MID & East Antrim’s newest councillor Peter Johnston admits he has ‘big shoes’ to fill by replacing the late Jim Brown.
Cllr Johnston (28) has attended his first full council meeting in Ballymena since being elected recently in a by-election in Carrickfergus following the death of Independent representative Cllr Brown.
Cllr Johnston polled 1,106 first preference votes ahead of the Ulster Unionist John McDermott on 668; Alliance’s Lauren Gray on 556; Si Harvey of the Democrats and Veterans Party with 448 and the Independent Will Sibley on 71 votes.
When elected, Councillor Johnston said: “Having lived, worked and studied in Carrickfergus for most of my life, I take pride in my town and the people who live here.
“As a father and a local businessman, I want to see Carrickfergus transformed into a town where new jobs, opportunities and investment are the norm.”
The number of total votes polled was 2,873 – a turnout of 21.8%.
Speaking at a council meeting in Ballymena this week, Cllr Johnson said he was “very grateful” to be there and also grateful to the people from Carrick who voted for him.
He said he was honoured to represent all constituents in Mid and East Antrim.
The councillor said he was disappointed to miss the full November meeting of the Council as he was in India doing pre-arranged charity work.
Paying tribute to predecessor Cllr Brown, Cllr Johnston said the veteran politician had “worked very hard” and added: “I am aware of the shoes he has left to fill”.
Cllr Johnston was welcomed to the Council by Mayor, Cllr Lindsay Millar.