Sat | Jan 16, 2021

Veteran Leakey backs Wright for second term

Published:Wednesday | August 19, 2020 | 12:00 AMJanet Silvera/Senior Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:

Forty-eight years after first winning the Trelawny Northern seat on a People’s National Party (PNP) ticket, Desmond Leakey stood on the Falmouth Municipal Corporation’s staircase Tuesday afternoon, endorsing incumbent Victor Wright.

Leakey said it was nostalgic.

“I figured the work that we started in 1972 continued and I look forward to the continuation and the people giving Wright a second term,” Leakey, 82, told The Gleaner.

His 1972 campaign manager Mark Campbell was also on the staircase.

Both signed the nomination form on the behalf of Wright.

Having retired from active political life 23 years ago, Leakey says he has never missed nomination day. The man who served for four terms in Parliament, one in the Senate, and one in the parish council, has remained on the campaign committees.

“Many more people would have come out today. This was a small crowd compared to previous years, but COVID-19 has affected the numbers.”

ADVANTAGES FOR PNP

The impact was not significant, as thousands of PNP supporters turned out for the occasion, more than 75 per cent of them from the Falmouth and Martha Brae divisions, a splinter from Duncans, Duanvale, Clark’s Town, and Wakefield.

“We have two advantages in this election. Falmouth division has never lost an election since 1947, and the constituency has also been cut,” said Leakey.

“That cut has benefited Marisa Dalrymple in the south and Wright in the north,” said the veteran, who is convinced that his candidate will take home the seat.

As confident as the PNP may be, the Jamaica Labour Party’s Tova Hamilton, Wright’s opponent, is as assured. In fact, the 37-year-old attorney-at-law has convinced some of Wright’s biggest supporters to jump ship.

Businessman Oliver Warren, who was a key member of Wright’s team, told The Gleaner that he has switched to the JLP and brought along a number of people.

Both Hamilton and Wright say their priority for the constituency is the building of roads, as well as development of the communities that fall under their purview.

Primarily an agricultural belt, Trelawny Northern was home to three sugar factories, Hampden, Long Pond, and Green Park, which are now closed.

Boasting a mixed economy, the constituency is now home to five major hotels – Royalton White Sands, Melia Braco, Royalton Blue Waters, H10, and Excellence – as well as the historic Falmouth Pier.

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com