Fred Mitchell was returned as the Progressive Liberal Party’s (PLP) national chairman today, beating former Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe by nearly 500 votes.
This will be Mitchell’s second consecutive term as party chairman.
According to the unofficial results, Mitchell got 802 votes, while Wilchcombe received 338 votes.
Convention Chair Michael Halkitis said about 1,500 delegates registered to vote.
Once it became clear that he was the winner, Mitchell expressed his gratitude to the delegates for reposing their confidence in him.
“I’m just pleased that the delegates saw the value of the work,” Mitchell said. “I’m pleased that the team that I’m a part of, headed by Philip Brave Davis, is returned in full and we can continue the work that we’re doing.
“Many of the delegates have come and spoken to me about the way the campaign was conducted and they were pleased that I didn’t respond to anything that was said about me in a personal sense.
“…I refused to say anything and that’s how it ought to be because you’re trying to run a political party and a political party has to encompass everybody regardless of what their particular positions are within the party and there’s a lot of work to do.”
Mitchell was referring to comments Wilchcombe made about him yesterday. In an interview with reporters, Wilchcombe said he has always been loyal to the PLP, and charged that Mitchell can’t say the same.
“I think it’s imperative to remember that I ran for deputy leader of the party and lost to Brave Davis, and I never once walked away from my party or ever considered leaving my party or not supporting my party,” the former tourism minister said.
“It’s only the person who is running against me that left the PLP. I think that’s a significant difference. I’ve never left the PLP. I never went against my organization. I never said negative and derogatory things about the leaders as Fred Mitchell did.
“So, I find it to be incredibly amazing when they talk about loyalty when I’m the individual who has demonstrated loyalty, never went, never left, never criticized, never took on my leadership and never denounced anything that the party was doing.”
Wilchcombe was reacting to voice note from Mitchell seemingly criticizing Wilchcombe for running.
In that message, Mitchell said, “Let me say this about the chairman of the party, since this is the position they all seem to be targeting, I guess. The chairman of the party has to get along with the leader of the party, can’t be interested in getting the leader of the party’s job or working on behalf of someone else to get that job.”
PLP Leader Philip Brave Davis and Deputy Leader Chester Cooper both retained their positions after running unopposed.
Davis will address delegates tonight at the Melia Nassau Beach resort.