Fri | Oct 23, 2020

Juliet banks on record, Krystal draws for Beenie and bounty

Published:Wednesday | August 19, 2020 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer
Member of parliament aspirant Krystal Tomlinson fist-bumps her daughter Xiah alongside doting dad, Moses ‘Beenie Man’ Davis, on Tuesday. Tomlinson is challenging incumbent candidate Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn for the St Andrew West Rural seat.
Member of parliament aspirant Krystal Tomlinson fist-bumps her daughter Xiah alongside doting dad, Moses ‘Beenie Man’ Davis, on Tuesday. Tomlinson is challenging incumbent candidate Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn for the St Andrew West Rural seat.

Incumbent Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) candidate Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn and her People’s National Party (PNP) challenger Krystal Tomlinson were exuding confidence after their respective nominations in the St Andrew West Rural on Tuesday.

Cuthbert-Flynn had a mass of JLP supporters behind her, most of them wearing masks, but social distancing was missing, as they lapped up the J’Ouvert-style excitement in their “colour green”, ringing bells to signal her arrival in Stony Hill Square.

She promised more of the “hard work” in what she projects to be her second term.

Tomlinson, meanwhile, vowed to take the people’s plight straight to Gordon House upon winning. She pulled out a massive crowd that outnumbered Cuthbert-Flynn’s by hundreds.

“Under my tenure as member of parliament (MP), we going to keep coffee price up, because this is the coffee belt and we are expecting partnership from every single MP that shares that belt of coffee production so we can have a proper team defending our coffee farmers,” the first-time aspirant said.

TARGETING EVERY DIVISION

Cuthbert-Flynn defeated the PNP’s Paul Buchanan by 2,736 votes in the 2016 general election and is courting more votes to solidify her hold on the constituency.

“A good leader would target every division, and so we have been working in all the divisions – Stony Hill, Lawrence Tavern, Brandon Hill, and Red Hills,” said Cuthbert-Flynn, who won three of the four divisions, losing Brandon Hill by 504 votes.

She has set her sights on capturing that division come September 3.

“The feedback we have been getting is that we see the work; we see what you have been doing and I think people want that. They want that change,” Cuthbert-Flynn said.

The incumbent candidate also said that $56 million was spent fixing a breakaway in the Brandon Hill division and that roadworks have been “steady”. A homework centre has also been one of her projects.

Tomlinson arrived with her daughter Xiah in hand and a massive motorcade of orange-clad supporters in tow, many holding brooms signifying a change of government and boasting of their candidate’s confidence in ousting the incumbent.

Her partner, entertainer Moses ‘Beenie Man’ Davis, was among the jubilant supporters. He said his vote and his bet were on his love.

“Krystal all the way. Krystal 100 per cent. The people really need a good MP to love them and to take care of their well-being, and Krystal is the one,” he said.

Tomlinson said her focus is not merely on overturning the near 3,000 vote deficit the incumbent enjoys coming into this election cycle but to give the masses proper representation.

The constituency of St Andrew West Rural was formed in 1959 and had the JLP’s Leon Arthur as its first MP.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com