Alexis thinks second time's the charm, but Dunn unwavering

Alexis thinks second time's the charm, but Dunn unwavering

BY KELLARAY MILES
Staff reporter
milesj@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, August 20, 2020

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AFTER a large show of support for him on nomination day, People's National Party (PNP) candidate for St Mary South Eastern Dr Shane Alexis has said that, unlike the by-election contested three years ago, his chance of winning the seat is much better now.

“The chances this time are much better than the first time... we have a very good chance in this seat. This is not a by-election but a general election; it, therefore, means that everyone has to stand up for themselves.

“We have built a team, we've done the work, brick by brick, from grass roots, and we've interacted with the people and have taken a more inclusive approach,” Alexis told the Jamaica Observer after he was successfully nominated on Tuesday at Annotto Bay Primary School, making him eligible to contest the September 3 General Election.

Alexis, who ran on a PNP ticket in the 2017 by-election in the constituency, lost by 937 votes to the incumbent Dr Norman Dunn, the Jamaica Labour Party's (JLP's) candidate who amassed 8,176 votes. Dunn was also nominated on Tuesday.

In speaking to his strategy this time around, the medical doctor turned politician said he will be rallying people around a cause, with the aim of uplifting everyone.

“I think that through the PNP and myself as their MP-elect, we'll be able to implement our plans because we have an excellent team that's drawn from not just education, but farming, business, private sector, medicine — right across the board. I think that the time is right for change,” he said.

Alexis also had a message for Dunn.

“I thank Dr Dunn for the work he has done, but it's time to move on and move forward with the community together, to make a better South East St Mary,” he said.

However, a very confident Dunn, who also spoke with the Observer, said he is sure he will retain the seat for the JLP.

“We have a 100 per cent chance. I believe at the end of the counting on September 3, we will be victorious and in a way that South East St Mary will be proud,” he said.

In outlining a list of accomplishments in his almost two-and-a-half-year stint, the first-time MP said his intention is to carry on the good work and provide first-class representation for constituents.

“We have accomplished maybe greater than 50-60 projects, as South East St Mary was left in such a poor state by the PNP. We were given a basket to carry water. My first order of business when returned as MP is to improve the parish's water system and provide activities and employment for youths,” Dunn said.

The incumbent said prior to the election period, his team was already looking into the development of activities around agriculture, information communication technologies, sporting activities, and music.

“All of my campaign songs are made by local South East St Mary musicians, including the famous 'Bam Bam', so of course we want to do a music studio. We have also purchased some equipment, because we want to form marching bands in the area and give young people the opportunity to learn a skill, whether in music, agriculture or information technology.

“We are also trying to work with major organisations such as HEART Trust/NSTA, because we believe that young men, in particular, need an avenue. We want to create a heavy-duty equipment operating centre where they learn to do tractor, trailer driving, excavators, rollers, et cetera. A centre in Broadgate will also be used to carry out additional training in welding, carpentry, and plumbing — we're looking at a whole slew of activities geared towards youth,” he said of his vision for the constituency.


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