PLP Kennedy candidate seeks to unite branch
Political newcomer attorney Dion Smith toldThe Nassau Guardianyesterday that he is moving to mobilize the Kennedy constituency branch of the Progressive Liberal Party(PLP)in an effort to ensure victory for the party in the area during the next general election.
“I need to organize a team that is going to be assisting me with campaigning. And right now, I think the team should start with Kennedy’s branch. So my first plan will be to try to see how I can work along with the branch to get them involved in the campaign process. Because on the night that I was actually ratified, the branch had still indicated thattheir support was behind Derek Ryan,”Smith said.
The branch had voted to recommend Ryan to the party as the area candidate. On Tuesday the party chose Smith.
Smith said he intends to work with the branch to address the concerns they may still have over this issue.
Ryan, Smith and PLP treasurer Craig Butler all sought the PLP nomination for Kennedy.
Smith said PLP chairman Bradley Roberts will select a committee to speak with the branch in order to explain to them why he was chosen.
Since March, Smith said he has been canvassing Kennedy listening to residents’concerns.
“A lot of them just want to see their representative to be honest with you. They are(the)proud people of Kennedy. It is not an issue of a lot of persons looking for handouts,”said Smith.
“A lot of them want opportunities. We have been speaking with some of the young guys about how to try and help them get sorted out with jobs in terms of right down to how do you make a resume and how do you present yourself at an interview. We have plans to work with the young and old in the community.”
Having practiced law for the last 10 years, Smith said he thinks now is the appropriate time to enter front-line politics.
“Persons have indicated to me that they would like to see me represent them. I am proud to be Bahamian and proud to be a PLP and I think now is the time,”he said.
Attorney Kenyatta Gibson is the current Kennedy MP. He was first elected as a PLP in 2002 and then again in 2007. Gibson joined the Free National Movements in 2008.
Smith was one of five candidates ratified by the PLP on Tuesday night. The other four are Melanie Griffin in Yamacraw, Glenys Hanna-Martin in Englerston, Leslie O. Miller in Blus Hills and Cleola Hamilton in South Beach.