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Sir Bob Russell - Liberal Democrats
VETERAN politician Sir Bob Russell has been Colchester's MP since the seat was created in 1997. Sir Bob, 68, was raised in Mile End, Colchester, and went to Myland Primary School and St Helena School. He was a councillor for 31 years, longer than any other councillor in the town's history, and for five years served both as a councillor and an MP.
He initially represented the Labour Party before defecting to the Social Democrats and becoming a Liberal Democrat when the SDP and Liberals merged in 1988. Sir Bob was Colchester mayor in 1986-7. The outspoken "Voice of Colchester" was knighted in the 2012 for his years of dedicated public service. A former journalist, he was the Liberal Democrat spokesman on Culture, Media and Sport and he sits on the Defence Select Committee.

John Pitts - UKIP
JOHN Pitts is the founder member of UKIP’s Colchester branch, and have been its treasurer and vice chairman since its conception. Born and bred in Colchester, he family has lived in the area for several generations. Now 57, he runs his own businesses in Colchester working in the transport and property sectors. A grandfather, and father of five, he is also a member of the Kingsland Church in Lexden and has also served as a governor at Stanway School and as a Stanway parish councillor. He stood as UKIP's Parliamentary candidate for Colchester in the 2010 General Election polling 1,350 votes. He said: "During this campaign I was able to talk to many Colchester residents and gain a good understanding of the hopes and concerns of the people, for our town. "I also believe that many of UKIP’s policies would greatly benefit us locally.”

Jordan Newell - Labour
Former Colchester Sixth Form College student, Jordan Newell spent five years working in Parliament as an aide to two Labour MPs before moving into the charity and voluntary sector. A former NHS employee, Jordan spent two years working in mental health services on risk management and patient safety before returning to Westminster. Mr Newell, 31, who lives in the St Mary's area of Colchester, began his political career in 1999 when he was elected chairman of the Tendring District Council Youth Forum. He subsequently spent two years representing north Essex as a member of the UK Youth Parliament. He is currently the chairman of the Colchester Labour Party and says he is passionate about Colchester, its history and its future. He has served as a trustee of Colchester Community Volunteer Service and is a former school governor at King's Ford Infants School and Colchester Institute

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Ken Scrimshaw - Christian People's Alliance
RETIRED mechanical engineer Ken Scrimshaw is to challenge for the Colchester constituency representing the Christian People's Alliance Party. Mr Scrimshaw previously lived in Kingston-on-Thames in Surrey where he stood in local council elections. However, he moved to Colchester last year, wanting to retire in a more rural location. Mr Scrimshaw, who is 76, also worked for 14 years as a church administrator and has been a street pastor for about seven years. He has also worked for the Food Bank. He said: "I wish to let voters know that they have the choice to vote for a person who will uphold Christian principles, as happens in many other European countries."
Mr Scrimshaw did not wish to take part in the Gazette’s video interviews

Mark Goacher - Green
MARK Goacher joined the Green Party because he believes it is the only major political party in the UK to be genuinely committed to protecting the countryside as well as fighting for social justice and the common good. He has lived in Colchester for 24 years and teaches History at Colchester Sixth Form College. Before joining the teaching profession, he worked for the NHS in the finance department of Leicester Royal Infirmary. He is currently the college's representative for the National Union of Teachers and he helps out as a volunteer for the Outhouse East LGBT charity in Colchester.
Mr Goacher, 47, who lives in Morant Road, Colchester, said: "I am not someone who has been a long-term career politician and I see that as a huge advantage. "I believe it is time for more ordinary people to get active in politics.”

Will Quince - Conservative
SOLICITOR Will Quince is standing as the Conservative's candidate in the General Eleciton for the second time. Mr Quince, who is 32, has been a Colchester councillor for four years and was previously the Conservative's group leader. He successfully lobbied for the number of councillors to be reduced from 60 to 52, cutting the cost to local government. He has also called for the introduction of a late night levy calling for licensees to take more responsibility for keeping the town safe and clean in night. Mr Quince argues more needs to be done to promote Colchester's heritage and has pledged to "relentlessly promote" the town locally, regionally and nationally if he is elected. A keen charity fundraiser, he has organised sleep rough events to raise money for Colchester Night Shelter on three occasions, sleeping out on the streets in sub zero temperatures.