Fri | Oct 23, 2020

Crawford pressing home advantage to beat Bunting

Published:Wednesday | August 19, 2020 | 12:28 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer
The JLP’s Rhoda Crawford rides on the shoulders of a supporter in Manchester Central on nomination day Tuesday.
The JLP’s Rhoda Crawford rides on the shoulders of a supporter in Manchester Central on nomination day Tuesday.

MANDEVILLE, Manchester:

Political rookie Rhoda Crawford believes that she will break the winning streak of three-term incumbent Peter Bunting in the battleground seat of Manchester Central, but People’s National Party (PNP) supporters have described that as wishful thinking.

Decked out in a branded helmet and Clarks, Crawford rode in on an ATV bike to the nomination centre at Mandeville Plaza before returning with a large crowd to be nominated.

Backed by Danville Walker, former JLP caretaker for the constituency, who came close to unseating Bunting in the 2011 general election, Crawford is confident that Manchester Central electors will give her a majority in the September 3 polls.

“I am their daughter; the people of Manchester Central have raised me into the woman I am today. They know of my sincerity and long before applying for candidacy, I have always been giving back to the community,” she said.

Crawford said she intends to tackle long-running infrastructural problems like water supply, pothole-ridden roads, and limited or unstable Internet connectivity.

But Bunting said that his work speaks for itself and he remains undaunted by the competition as he seeks a fourth term as MP.

The incumbent arrived at the nomination centre with ‘04’ – for his fourth term – emblazoned on his shirt amid a large crowd that proved too much for even the police to control.

Bunting has credited his advocacy for the mushrooming of business process outsourcing companies and thousands of new housing solutions.

He acknowledged water shortage and Internet connectivity as sore issues, but says he will continue to lobby on behalf of the people.

“ ... We need the equivalent of Michael Manley’s Rural Electrification Programme to bring high-speed Internet access to the communities across Jamaica, and you will be hearing more about that in our manifesto,” said Bunting.