My Plaid Cymru ballot paper arrived this morning and I'm proud to report that everyone in the Jones Household has placed Leanne Wood as their first preference as Leader of Plaid Cymru. Personally speaking, Leanne is my first preference, Elin Jones my second, and Lord Elis-Thomas my third.
If I might, I'd like to take a minute or two to tell you why I believe that Leanne is the best choice of the candidates in this race to lead Plaid Cymru.
Leanne is a staunch nationalist, an unwavering republican and a socialist to the bones. But one could also say that of the other woman in this race, so what gives Leanne the edge? For me, what makes Leanne a fantastic candidate is her vision for Wales, the freshness of her campaign, and how exciting a prospect it is to have her as Plaid Cymru's leader.
Masses of experience are not on Leanne's side - at least, not as a Government Minister or a statesman. But despite that, Leanne has managed to inspire people all across Wales more than either of the other campaigns. Some have said that Leanne is too radical or too left-wing to unite the party. But to those people let me ask: are you as excited by the other campaigns as you are with Leanne's? It's a lively campaign, full of new ideas, and I have no doubt that Leanne will be a lively Leader, one who is full of ideas.
Her Greenprint for the Valleys is the basis for Plaid Cymru's local election manifesto this year, and as many - including former Party President and the Welsh legend Dafydd Iwan - have noted, her politics goes back to Plaid Cymru's core, original politics. It's a politics of community and cooperation. But what's special about her campaign is that it combines that element of standing by Plaid Cymru's key principles and indeed its roots, but it is also a modern campaign and a symbol of a woman who will move our party forward and create it as a natural political home for people all across Wales - from our heartlands in the north and the west, to the north-east, and her native industrial south.
Leanne will be an excellent leader of Plaid Cymru and so, I encourage you all to place her as your first preference on your ballot papers. For more information on her campaign, go to her website.
- CERITH RHYS JONES
National Chair of CymruX
P.S. Although it is official CymruX policy to support Leanne, please note that my opinion as portrayed above is my own.