Let's keep exeter winning

Let's keep Exeter winning!

I’m Steve, and I’ve been part of the Exeter Labour team for fifteen years, campaigning side by side with members, talking to residents, and helping Labour deliver for Exeter.

I’ve worked for our MP Ben Bradshaw, supporting Exeter residents and organisations with their issues, and I stood as the Labour candidate for East Devon in the 2015 general election.

I’m now standing to be Exeter Labour’s Parliamentary candidate, hoping to take over from Ben as he retires after over 25 years. As a gay man, I remember Ben’s election when I was 14 as a pivotal moment - knowing that someone like me had been accepted and elected overwhelmingly by voters. That’s one of the reasons I was so determined to work for Ben and the people of Exeter, and I’m proud that Ben is now a friend and mentor. He has been a formidable campaigner and MP, representing  Exeter as a Labour Cabinet Minister, and we owe him a debt of thanks for his service to the city and the country. 

I joined the Labour Party because for my first 14 years, I grew up under a Tory Government. From an early age, I was determined to change the fundamental unfairness I saw around me - my local comprehensive school was decaying and we shared textbooks between three in a class; the council house I grew up in was cold and too small for our large family, and was unsuitable for my disabled sister.

When Labour came to power, this all started to change, and my family gained new opportunities - we moved into a purpose-built new council house, and I was later the first in my family to go to university.

After another 13 years of Tory Government, we’re back to where we were in 1997 - and worse. The fabric of the services we all depend on is fraying, and the Tories just keep bending the rules to suit themselves.  

I want to work to fight for an inclusive and fair Exeter - where everyone has the opportunity of a warm and secure home and no-one is forced into homelessness; where people can get a decent well-paid job, put food on the table, and access the best education for their kids. I believe in an NHS in Exeter and across the country that is well-funded, patient-focused, and at the forefront of diagnostics and treatment pathways, with the RD&E able to lead the transformation of health and care in the city and region.

I believe in a Labour Government’s ability to tackle the global challenges that affect Exeter and that we care most about - putting climate change at the centre of policy-making so that the UK leads the world on delivering a just transition to net zero; offering sanctuary to migrants and refugees and rolling back the hostile environment at the Home Office; reversing the Tory cuts to international aid, and leading the world again in the fight against global poverty; and leading by example in standing up for global rules-based systems and human rights.

Exeter is a great city, and it succeeds under Labour. With a Labour MP and a Labour Council, the city continues to grow in economic prosperity and civic pride. After 25 years with Ben as our MP, it’s a big moment for Exeter. However I believe with me as your next MP we can work together to secure prosperity for Exeter for years to come.

Steve Race in Exeter

I'm very proud to be supported by Ben Bradshaw MP

Watch his video here!

About Steve

Let's keep Exeter winning!

Steve has campaigned in Exeter for 15 years, and has national experience.


Years campaigning with the Exeter Labour team


Stood in the General Election as the Labour Parliamentary Candidate in East Devon


Years a member of the Labour Party


Years as a local councillor

My campaign priorities

These are my priorities for Exeter:

  • A committed local MP
  • A prosperous and growing city with an inclusive economy
  • More high-quality social housing
  • A socially just green transition
  • A patient-focused and well-funded NHS

A committed local MP

In Exeter Labour’s success is because of its commitment to talking and listening to residents all year long. Alongside this, as Exeter’s MP, Ben has always been on top of casework, writing back to everyone who gets in touch with him so that they get a timely and informative response. I learnt this approach from Ben and Exeter Labour over the last 15 years, and I’m committed to carrying this on as Exeter’s next MP.

A prosperous and growing city with an inclusive economy

Exeter has a proud 2000 year history as a regional economic powerhouse. Over the past 20 years the city has continued to develop its dynamism, becoming ever more prosperous and proud of its own identity.

Without care, attention, and intervention, economic growth can be unequal. I grew up in a single parent family for some of my childhood, and I remember our family struggling to put food on the table. My mum did occasional odd jobs when she could, and later, my stepfather worked at the BP Saltend chemical plant which provided relatively well-paid and secure employment. As these jobs, and trade union membership and power, have declined in the UK, wages have stagnated and insecure and lower-paid jobs have increased, leaving too many families unable to escape poverty despite being in work. With the cost of living crisis having an ever greater impact, more people will be driven into poverty in the coming years, unless we have a Labour government which is willing to stand with people.

As Exeter becomes ever more diverse and attracts more investment our Labour MP, in a Labour government, should be at the forefront of ensuring that the economy is inclusive, creating jobs that are stable, well-paid, and accessible to Exeter residents, through skills training and partnerships with business, the trade unions, and public sector organisations.

More high-quality social housing

I grew up in a council house with my mum and brother and later, when she remarried, with three other siblings. I remember us living as a family of 7 in a 2.5-bedroom house. As a councillor now, I know that we were lucky – many of the families in my ward live in one bedroom, and the standard of housing is far poorer. Our situation improved when Labour came into power, and we moved into a larger house, built especially to accommodate my disabled sister.

In Exeter the housing list is 3500. Exeter’s Labour administration builds social housing, to a high design and environmental standard, but local authorities need more funding to expand their building programmes. That’s why I believe in social housing, and I believe that the next Labour government must prioritise a new social housing building programme.

A socially just green transition

Exeter is rightly proud of its green credentials, and the Labour administration places climate change at the heart of its policy-making. I use a bicycle and public transport to get around (I don’t hold a driving licence!), and I’m proud of the work that my local authority has undertaken to introduce school streets and new cycling infrastructure, including in my ward.

It’s clear that everyone in society will need to change the way we live in order to combat the climate crisis, but that needs to be pragmatic - it cannot be at the expense of the poorest, and it cannot be divisive. Only a Green New Deal, prioritising investment in green technology and solutions that deliver new jobs and skills training can help us to ensure a green transition that is socially just.

New cycling infrastructure and liveable streets programmes must be accompanied by more regular, cleaner, and cheaper public transport options, for example. Making it easier to take bus provision back in-house at a local authority level – or at least enabling councils to better fund and regulate the service – must be another priority for the next Labour government, following the examples of London and of the Mayors in Greater Manchester and Liverpool.

A patient-focused and well-funded NHS

My sister was born with a rare genetic condition called Hurler Syndrome, meaning she required round the clock care and a huge amount of NHS intervention and support throughout her ten years of life.

I know the impact the NHS had on our lives - with a specialist consultant based at Manchester Children’s Hospital, and teams of people supporting her through multiple operations, my sister lived far longer than expected, giving us more valuable time to spend with her.

Only a Labour government will ever ensure the NHS is well-funded, patient-focused, and set-up to take advantage of new therapies and technologies - to enable people to live longer and more fulfilled lives. As the NHS becomes more integrated, we have the opportunity to support the RD&E’s vision to be a leader in transforming health and care for people in Exeter and Devon.


Join me in campaigning for positive change.


Steve has local and national support for Exeter

“I fully endorse him to be Exeter’s next Labour MP”

I’ve known Steve for about fifteen years as a hard-working campaigner in Exeter, and a committed trade unionist. He’s been loyal to Exeter Labour, campaigning in many elections all over the city, and I fully endorse him to be Exeter’s next Labour MP.

Hilda Sterry headshot
Hilda Sterry
USDAW Union Member, Lord Mayor of Exeter, 2004

“Steve wants to ensure Exeter remains an open, diverse, and inclusive city!”

I met Steve recently, and I know he wants to ensure Exeter remains an open, diverse, and inclusive city for everyone who lives here. He’ll be a great MP for Exeter, and I fully support him.

Khaled Deakin headshot
Khaled Deakin
West Exe Branch, Exeter CLP

“Steve is passionate about working people”

I’ve known Steve for fifteen years in Exeter and I know he’s passionate about working people - he wants to make sure their voice is heard, and that government listens. He grew up in a council house, was the first in his family to go to university, and has worked since he was 15. He’s been loyal to Exeter since he first started working here in 2007, and I know he will make an excellent Labour MP for our proud city.

Olwen Foggin Thomas headshot
Olwen Foggin Thomas
South/East Exe Branch, Exeter CLP, Lord Mayor of Exeter 2014

“Steve will keep Exeter Labour”

Steve knows the streets of Exeter better than many taxi drivers having spent years campaigning and helping to win elections here. He’ll be a brilliant candidate to maintain the trust of voters and keep Exeter Labour. Even more importantly he’d be a great MP who really cares about improving the lives of people in Exeter and across the country.

Joe Oliver headshot
Joe Oliver
East Exe Branch, Exeter CLP

“Steve always makes time to talk to residents”

I’ve worked closely with Steve for ten years, and I know he’s a dedicated and enthusiastic Labour campaigner, and he always makes times to talk to residents. He’ll be a great Labour MP for Exeter and a brilliant successor for Ben.

Feryal Clark MP headshot
Feryal Clark MP
Former co-ward councillor

“Steve is an advocate for education and young people”

I first met Steve in Exeter when I came in 2008 to talk to Exeter’s headteachers about how we could help to improve Exeter’s schools. I knew then that Steve is a passionate supporter of education, and an advocate for Exeter’s young people. Steve is also a strong pro-European and campaigned alongside me against Brexit. He’ll be a great Labour MP for Exeter.

Andrew Adonis headshot
Andrew Adonis
Chair, European Movement UK, former Labour Transport Secretary

“He is just the sort of person we need in Parliament”

I’ve known Steve for 10 years as a tough campaigner who has a strong track record of working hard for residents. He’s a door knocker first and foremost, and never takes Labour votes for granted, and works effectively to invigorate members to get involved. He is just the sort of person we need in Parliament to help us form the next Labour Government

Dame Meg Hillier MP headshot
Dame Meg Hillier MP
MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch, and Chair of the Public Accounts Committee

“Steve is a committed democratic socialist and internationalist”

Steve is a committed democratic socialist, internationalist, and pro-European, who believes we are at our best when we work closely with our allies and partners to meet global challenges. He has a record of standing up for the communities he represents and for the Labour Party, and will be an excellent successor to Ben as MP for Exeter.

Rt Hon Neil Kinnock headshot
Rt Hon Neil Kinnock
Labour Leader, 1983-1992, Honorary President, Labour Movement for Europe

“He would make a great MP for Exeter”

I’ve worked with Steve on active travel schemes in his ward, and I know he’s committed to traffic reduction and liveable streets, while always standing up for residents and their ability to get around. I know Steve wants to see a socially just green transition, that means no-one is left behind. He would make a great MP for Exeter.

Cllr Mete Coban MBE headshot
Cllr Mete Coban MBE
Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport

“He’ll work hard to make sure we keep Exeter Labour”

Steve has many years of working with Ben on policy, including having helped Exeter Council solve issues with the government. He’s also a hands-on councillor, who is approachable, a good listener, and a thoughtful activist. He’ll work hard to make sure we keep Exeter Labour.

Trish Oliver headshot
Trish Oliver
Labour City Councillor for Pinhoe, and Lord Mayor of Exeter 2021/22

“I believe he will be an MP whose political astuteness comes from genuine humanity”

Steve is a socialist with insight, compassion, and the drive to make things that affect people’s day to day life better. He has experience, both personal and political, of difficult issues and how to work through them. I believe he will be an MP whose political astuteness comes from genuine humanity.

Rachel Purtell headshot
Rachel Purtell
West Exe branch and former Chair of Exeter CLP

“He will be an excellent MP for Exeter”

I know that Steve is a hard-working and committed councillor, community activist, and Labour campaigner, and he will be an excellent MP for Exeter.

Anntoinette Bramble headshot
Cllr Anntoinette Bramble
Labour Deputy Leader, Local Government Association

Steve is the best choice for Exeter

Being an excellent campaigner, and someone who will stand up for the issues that truly matter, Steve is the best choice for Exeter, not just locally but in Westminster too.

Marc Sukumar
President of Exeter University Labour Society 2021/22
Group photo from a campaign trip

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