Coast Road DUP Councillor Gordon Lyons could replace Sammy Wilson as MLA for East Antrim after Mr Wilson revealed he is to step down from the Stormont Assembly.
Speaking the day after Mr Wilson’s announcement, Cllr Lyons revealed that he has applied to take over Mr Wilson’s position, while Mr Wilson will concentrate on his role as an MP at Westminster.
Cllr Lyons, who previously spent five years working in Mr Wilson’s office, admitted that if his application is successful he will have a big pair of shoes to fill.
“We have been very privileged to have Sammy as an MLA in East Antrim and he will be missed but we are please he will be continuing at Westminster.
“If successful I will be following someone with a fantastic record and a high profile.
“People will think differnt things about Sammy but no-one can doubt his ability. He is irreplaceable.
“There’s only one Sammy Wilson.”
Cllr Lyons said that the most important thing he had learnt from Mr Wilson was to “work hard and serve people.”
“If I am successful I would relish the opportunity and really enjoy it and enjoy representing East Antrim in the Assembly,” he added.
Cllr Lyons said he expected a decision to be made on Mr Wilson’s Assembly successor next week.
Meanwhile, Cllr Paul Reid also paid tribute to Mr Wilson’s “outstanding service.”
“I want to express my personal appreciation for his resolve and for placing the people of East Antrim first, which he will continue to do in his representation at Westminster,” he stated.