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Politics in her blood - Imani confident of winning expected battle royal

Published:Sunday | February 7, 2016 | 2:00 AMGary Spaulding
Imani Duncan-Price
Imani Duncan-Price (left) and her team, including Petrena Hewitt (stooping) and Patricia Morgan, councillor for the Dallas division, in a clean-up operation at Wickie Wackie, Bull Bay in East Rural St Andrew.
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From the day that Imani Duncan-Price was born, her schooling in the art of politics started.

Now that Duncan-Price has come of age and serving in the Upper House, she has opted to take the plunge into representational politics and it appears a baptism of fire is in store for the petite businesswoman as she tries to hang on to the unpredictable St Andrew East Rural constituency for the People's National Party (PNP).

The Harvard graduate has embraced it all and is adamant that she is well prepared to represent the PNP on the next stage of her journey.

According to Duncan-Price, her father, the veteran politician Dr D.K. Duncan, is a source of strength and a major influence in her life and he has given her the impetus to take on the rugged constituency.

"My father was not a normal minister, he was minister of mobilisation and general secretary of the PNP. Before he even went into the PNP, he was involved in a movement in Canada and Jamaica," said Duncan-Price.

Duncan-Price said in addition to the potent political pull of her father, she is also driven to serve by the acute social consciousness of her mother, the late Grace Duncan.

"From I was young, I knew I wanted to go into politics and social work. My father was a politician and mother a social activist."

According to Duncan-Price, her mother built 27 schools for children with mental disabilities across the island, including the School of Hope.

"I have lived a life between politics and my previous exploits, which include JMMB (Jamaica Money Market Brokers)," asserted Duncan Price of the successful family business of which she was a part.

"While people serve in different areas such as teaching, my thing is the passion of politics as a means for national development. It is a part of how I was raised.

"We were exposed to challenges, opportunities, revolutionary and conservative ideas," added Duncan-Price as she declared that everything that she has done in the past has prepared her for St Andrew East Rural.

 

Constituency engagements

 

She told The Sunday Gleaner that while the Senate is good for reviewing laws, it was not the place for constituency engagements, and she is headed to the hills and valleys of St Andrew East Rural to do just that - engage with the people of the constituency.

"There is something about feeling and being responsible for a constituency," she declared.

Duncan-Price's job has been made harder by the division among Comrades over who should represent the PNP in the constituency which Damion Crawford won for the party with a 259-vote majority in 2011.

PNP delegates rejected Crawford in a run-off while the man who beat him, Peter Blake, was turned away by the party's top brass.

Even so, Duncan-Price said she ventures into the constituency with her 'eyes wide open' and expecting a victory.

"It is expansive but it's not only about the size but the varied nature of the constituency," said Duncan Price, who will face off with the JLP's Juliet Holness come February 25.

gary.spaulding@gleanerjm.com