Cllr Denis Leonard is to run for Labour in the upcoming by-election.
Although he told the Westmeath Examiner two weeks ago that he was concentrating on the local election, the Kinnegad based politician says that he changed his mind when it appeared likely that Labour would not be running a candidate.
"I just feel it's important to have a Labour voice in the election with so many issues facing the country at the moment such as job creation, ensuring that people have a living wage, ensuring we have a clean environment and that we make the recovery local.
"I am still committed to the local election and winning a seat in the Mullingar Coole area but have let my name go forward. I also felt very strongly that there was a lack of candidates from north Westmeath. Our area has very unique needs, especially Mullingar being continually passed over for IDA investment and unless there is a voice, investment could continue to be very Athlone centred in the years to come."
Cllr Leonard, who is one of three candidates in the by-election contesting botht he local and by-election on May 23, says that the "M6 corridor" towns such as Kinnegad, Rochfortbridge and Kilbeggan has been neglected when it comes to "tourism investment, infrastructure and broadbands".
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