Despite the lateness of the governing Progressive Liberal Party, in deciding upon the candidate for Central Grand Bahama, successful applicant Senator Julian Russell on Wednesday told The Freeport News that the runoff, primarily with businesswoman Ginger Moxey, helped the PLP’s cause by bringing more supporters on stream.
Contacted on Wednesday morning, Senator Russell was gracious to Moxey, his staunchest rival for the candidacy (Bahamasair Executive Harold Williams was the other); acknowledged that there is a lot of work to do; and also expressed confidence in the process that led to the delayed party decision.
“I got a lot of support and actually, I saw that the process helped a lot. (More) people have been coming to the campaign. The runoff was good. I was up against a tough Eight Mile Rock lady who was prepared to fight right to the end. I respect her quite a bit. We are good friends and I have an appreciation for her. Because of the approach we both took, we were never nasty to each other,” said the senator.
He pointed out though that the delayed process has presented a challenge and he disclosed an interest in Moxey playing a vital role in his campaign going forward. The fight will be basically against the Free National Movement ratified candidate Iram Lewis who has been on the ground in Central GB for several weeks.
“We have to get a team together quickly. From my experience, your team grows as you go along and I am satisfied with the support I see. Would I want Ginger on my team? Yes I would. She sent me a (congratulatory) message and I hope we can talk soon. She has some skills that are very useful,” said Sen. Russell.
Moxey for her part, at the very least, has publicly accepted the decision of the party. She released a statement early on Wednesday morning.
“Late last evening (Tuesday), I received a call from Prime Minister (Perry) Christie to indicate, to me, that the Candidates Committee had considered the applicants for the Central Grand Bahama seat and the decision was made to select Julian Russell to represent the Progressive Liberal Party. I thanked him for the courtesy extended to me by calling me soon after the decision was made. I assured him that I accepted the decision and my support for him and the party has not diminished at all.
“To the contrary, this process has afforded me the opportunity to form new friendships and restore old ones. I will continue to advocate for the empowerment of Grand Bahamians whether in private or public life. I want to say a special ‘thank you’ to all those in Central Grand Bahama who encouraged and supported me, particularly the first-time voters, who provided energy to my campaign.
“I now invite all those who supported me to join me and give their full support to Julian Russell as he makes his bid to win the Central Grand Bahama seat for the PLP,” said Moxey in the statement.
Her comments indicated that there is a great possibility that she will in fact team up with Russell in an effort to wrest the seat from the FNM. For 25 years, with Neko Grant carrying the banner, the Free National Movement has represented the Central Grand Bahama area in the House of Assembly.
Senator Russell, possibly Moxey, and those on the team, will be meeting a confident Lewis. Accordingly, Russell said the intent is to focus “energy on knocking on every door and listening to the people.”
In 2012, Senator Russell, a first-time candidate, ran a solid race against Grant, losing by just a little over 100 votes.
Published Thursday, February 9, 2017