FIRST-time candidate Andy Tennant bagged his late dad’s seat on South Holland District Council in a by-election at Long Sutton on Thursday.
His dad, long serving councillor Dennis Tennant, died in June aged 76 after a battle with cancer.
Several people approached Andy to follow in his father’s footsteps but he was reluctant at first because he had no experience.
He said: “I could hear my dad saying ‘go on son, give it a go’.
“I didn’t just want to give dad’s seat up without a bit of a fight.
“We were very proud of him and I am sure he’s very proud of me for not only standing but also very proud of me for actually winning the seat.”
Andy (47), a warehouse operative with Gist in Spalding, was working on the day of the by-election – and actually moved jobs with his firm just three weeks before.
He knows the name “Tennant” on the ballot paper was a big advantage, but says it was a real David and Goliath battle for him as an Independent as the Conservatives wheeled out enough people to leaflet every home two or three times and phoned every house.
He won the contest with 946 votes while Tory Jack Tyrrell trailed behind on 757.
Andy says: “A lot of people said ‘his dad’s done a good job for us for 20 years and we will give Andy a go’ and there was a lot of the younger generation who wouldn’t normally consider voting who supported me. I know for a fact that I got a lot of first time voters.
“Apart from your mortgage and rent, the council tax that everybody pays is one of the major outgoings and I think it’s important that we all at least have a say on how that is spent.”
Long Sutton born and bred Andy lives in the town with his wife, Mel, and they have children Amelia (20), who is studying at Birmingham University, and Alistair (14), who goes to Long Sutton’s Peele Community College.