Sun | Oct 25, 2020

Gammon blames lack of JLP support for failed campaign

Published:Thursday | October 1, 2020 | 12:10 AMOlivia Brown/Gleaner Writer
Kent Gammon, the losing Jamaica Labour Party candidate in Clarendon South West.
Kent Gammon, the losing Jamaica Labour Party candidate in Clarendon South West.

Failed parliamentary hopeful Kent Gammon has hinted that the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) hierarchy did not offer sufficient backing to his candidacy in the September 3 general election.

Gammon tasted defeat for a second time in his bid to become member of parliament for Clarendon South Western in the September 3 polls.

An attorney-at-law, Gammon polled 4,602 votes to the People’s National Party’s (PNP) Lothan Cousins’ 6,669 in a 41 per cent turnout in the constituency. In 2016, Gammon attained 5,687 votes to the incumbent Noel Arscott’s 7,257.

Gammon was the only JLP candidate to lose a seat in the parish of Clarendon and was one of few Labourites who failed to snatch a marginal constituency in the 49-14 landslide victory. Not even the momentum of popular JLP leader Andrew Holness was enough to help the contender.

But Gammon believes that more muscle from the leadership of the JLP could have tipped the scales in his favour.

“Perhaps if I had more support from the top brass of the party, the people would have been better motivated to come out and vote. Thrilled the [Jamaica] Labour Party swept 49 seats across the island but hugely disappointed that I didn’t win my seat,” he said.

Gammon said that he “was roaring to fix the horrendous roads”, lobby for the creation of business process outsourcing industry, and improve infrastructure in Clarendon South West.

He criticised Arscott, who declined to run in last month’s election , for the lack of effective representation.

The attorney-at-law, who said he would continue as the caretaker for Clarendon South West, lamented that the seat would continue to suffer from under-representation

“I believe my loss was mostly due to a new candidate on the opposition side offering all manner of things and the people lapped it up,” said Gammon.

“I offered a brilliant plan to reform the constituency of South West Clarendon to make people independent and self-sufficient. The people chose dependency on the state, the PNP philosophy.”