Jess beats Spencer in St Elizabeth NE PNP run-off
ST ELIZABETH, Jamaica — Lawyer Zuleika Jess has beaten Kern Spencer, receiving the majority of votes from delegates of the Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) in an internal election to represent the party in St Elizabeth North Eastern in the next parliamentary election.
Director of the election Wensworth Skeffery told journalists that Jess polled 569 votes to Spencer’s 209.
There were 1,274 delegates eligible to vote during the internal election at the St Elizabeth Technical High School in Santa Cruz.
Shortly before the end of voting jubilant Jess supporters and delegates hoisted placards bearing her image outside the entrance to the polling station.
At the start of voting there was a verbal clash between supporters of Spencer and Jess.
Long considered a stronghold of the PNP, St Elizabeth North Eastern was lost to the ruling Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) Delroy Slowley in the 2020 general election — representing one of the shock results of that election, which the JLP won in a landslide.
In that election, Jess lost in her bid to wrest the Clarendon Central seat from the JLP’s Mike Henry.
Spencer, who had won the St Elizabeth North Eastern seat for the PNP in 2007, was forced to walk away from representational politics in the build-up to the 2011 general election following corruption charges — which were eventually dismissed — relating to the Cuban light bulb scandal.
Spencer is currently the chairman of the PNP’s region five consisting of Manchester and St Elizabeth.
— Kasey Williams