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Foster upstages McCurdy for Central St James

Published:Friday | October 2, 2015 | 10:00 AMAdrian Frater

Western Bureau:

Attorney-at-law Ashley-Ann Foster was yesterday given the nod by People's National Party (PNP) delegates in Central St James to represent them in the pending general election, after she defeated fellow attorney Henry McCurdy 252-185 in their 'run-off exercise' at the Farm Heights Community Centre, in St James.

"I believe we ran a very good campaign, and based on the way things were going, we were quite confident that at the end of the day, we would have ended up with a positive result," said Foster, who was once a member of Generation 2000 (G2K), the youth arm of the opposition Jamaica Labour Party

While the strong rivalry that existed between both sides in the early hours somewhat subsided towards the end of the day, things threatened to get ugly at one stage in the morning, as there was a fist fight between Silvan Reid, the councillor for the Salt Spring division, and party supporter Dan Brownie.

In the aftermath of the fight, Senior Superintendent of Police Steve McGregor told The Gleaner that both men are to be arrested and charged. However, while both men admitted visiting the Mt Salem Police Station and giving statements, they said they were neither arrested nor charged.

"I went to the Mt Salem Police Station on my own to lodge a complaint following an altercation I had with another gentleman (Brownie) ... I gave a statement to the police," said Reid, who returned to the venue mid-afternoon with a swollen left eye. "The police instructed (me) to go the doctor and I have a medical certificate here to prove it. I was not arrested."

Brownie, who also returned to the venue mid-afternoon, looking quite composed, said he too had visited the Mt Salem Police Station and while he was asked to give a statement, said he was neither arrested nor charged.

In regards to the run-off, senator Wensworth Skeffery, who operated as director of elections, said the exercise was very smooth and there were no glitches to report.

"The list comprised 708 delegates across all three divisions in the constituency ..., polling was quite steady throughout the day," said Skeffery, who explained that a tight screening process was followed to protect the integrity of the exercise. "We are confident that whoever emerge the victor today, Central St James will remain in the column of the PNP."

Now that the delegates have made their selection, it will now be up to the central executive of the PNP to decide whether or not they will accept the decision of the delegates.