Independent TD Tom Fleming has announced that he will not be contesting the upcoming General Election.
He was elected to the Dail representing Kerry South in the 2011 General Election. Tom Fleming had previously contested general elections in 2002 and 2007 for Fianna Fail but had left the party to run as an Independent when he failed to secure the FF nomination.
He has contested 10 elections in the past 10 years.
He also served on Kerry County Council representing the Killarney area from 1985 before having to give up the seat when he was elected to the Dail. He is a member of the Independent Alliance headed up by Shane Ross who the Kerry South TD will be informing of his decision this evening. Deputy Fleming says he has decided not to contest the election as he feels he has not covered the ground necessary in the campaign trail to date:
The TD hasn’t ruled out coming back into politics in the future.
Tom Fleming’s departure from the General Election race moves the goal posts in an already hotly contested five seat Kerry constituency.
Meanwhile Tributes have been paid to Deputy Fleming by many of his political colleagues.
Fine Gael TD Brendan Griffin said: “I wish Tom and his family every success in the future and know that he has left a long legacy of work that will benefit the future of so many people in Kerry and Ireland.”
While Fianna Fail election canidate Councillor Norma Moriorty said Deputy Tom Fleming epitomizes the best of politics, serving the people of Kerry and focusing on the issues.
Deputy Fleming will be joining Jerry O’Sullivan on Radio Kerry’s Kerry today programme on Monday morning.