16 Jun 2020

ACT's newest candidate - David Seymour, yes another one

From Checkpoint, 5:53 pm on 16 June 2020

The ACT Party has announced David Seymour as its Whangārei candidate in the 2020 election, but it's not the David Seymour you are thinking of.

A Whangārei businessman - and namesake of the party's leader - has joined the campaign as an advocate for the End of Life Choice Act.

The two Davids told RNZ's Checkpoint why they wanted to see more Seymours in Parliament. 

"No party in history has tried the strategy of having two David Seymours as candidates, we think this could go really well," the ACT Party leader said. 

To add to the confusion, the Epsom candidate's childhood home is only 500 metres from the current home of the new candidate's home in Whangārei. 

Whangārei Seymour hoped name recognition related to the ACT leader and his own reputation in the Northland city would help his campaign. 

"David Seymour is an excellent candidate in Whangārei," the Epsom Seymour said. 

"He's had a long profile as a businessman in this town. I grew up here as the other David Seymour and we actually used to get each other's phone calls, even then, so David Seymour is a very well-recognised name in Whangārei, long before I came along."

Whangārei Seymour said he was taking the campaign seriously. 

"You don't do anything like this half-heartedly... when I do something I get quite serious about it, so despite my current situation I'm in this boots and all. 

"My current situation goes back to 2017 when I was diagnosed with motor neurone disease. And I'd always been a little bit of a follower of David from Epsom because of the namesake. 

"When his End of Life Choice bill came to fruition in Parliament I phoned him up and said 'how would you like to have someone on your team with the same name but with a terminal illness?'.

"I've done what I can to encourage people to see the purposes of the bill and I'm a strong supporter, and I always will be... I was actually a supporter of assisted dying long before I was terminally ill. But this has really enforced it."

Whangārei Seymour said he was not going to be a single-issue candidate however. 

"I think the principles of the ACT Party and my own business philosophy are very well aligned in the way of having business being able to do business. I also have strong opinions on the firearms issues."

He believed law changes after the 15 March Christchurch terrorist attack were rushed through without enough due diligence.

From what he had seen from the ACT Party in the last few years he was "pretty much in agreement" with all the party's policies, he said. 

And as for the rest of ACT's election campaign? 

"I can [neither] confirm nor deny that the party has a strategic reserve of David Seymours," Epsom Seymour told Checkpoint.