Tue | Oct 27, 2020

Daryl, Ann-Marie Vaz double-team Portland

Published:Monday | August 24, 2020 | 12:53 AMJudana Murphy/Gleaner Writer
The Jamaica Labour Party’s Daryl Vaz addresses supporters in Buff Bay on nomination day, August 18. Vaz will face off with Valerie Neita-Robertson of the People’s National Party in Portland Western.
The Jamaica Labour Party’s Daryl Vaz addresses supporters in Buff Bay on nomination day, August 18. Vaz will face off with Valerie Neita-Robertson of the People’s National Party in Portland Western.

Daryl Vaz will be casting his vote in Portland Eastern for the second time as his wife and political partner, Ann-Marie Vaz, seeks to win in her first general election.

‘Man of Action’ and ‘Action Ann’, as they are affectionately called, are both members of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and have been married for 18 years.

Daryl has been the Portland Western member of parliament (MP) for 13 years and Ann-Marie joined him in the political arena 15 months ago when she secured victory in the Portland Eastern by-election against Damion Crawford.

For the Vazes, political representation has altered life as they knew it.

“One of the issues with couples is time spent together, and before I went into politics, needing to spend time with him was something that was challenging. Now that I’m in politics, I understand that if you’re to be an effective MP, you have to spend time in your seat,” Ann-Marie explained.

Daryl said his wife has become engrossed in serving the people and has not yet learnt to live with politics.

“She has not stopped working from October 2018 when she came to Portland because she had the by-election which was in 2019, and then she has been campaigning non-stop until now,” he said.

Vaz revealed that his wife spends a lot of time in the constituency and they don’t see each other for most of the week.

But Ann-Marie is certain that though they are not physically together, “Our love is strong enough to overcome any obstacle”.

Looking back at her by-election win, she said she was happy that her husband provided a public display of support.

He also wore a shirt emblazoned with ‘Husband of Ann-Marie’.

Daryl said the fact that his wife could unseat the PNP after 30 years correlates with the work constituents saw being done by him in Portland Western.

“There is a level of respect and trust for the name and what comes with the name. I feel honoured, blessed and I don’t intend to let them down,” he pledged.

MAJOR SACRIFICE

“It’s not easy and I can’t say that I recommend it as something that others should follow. She has set an example along with Juliet Holness, but with kids and now a grandkid, and because of the COVID, we have to be so careful,” he explained.

“It’s a major sacrifice in the pandemic because basically, you have to isolate yourself from your family to make sure that they are not susceptible to anything you may get going out into the field,” said the three-time member of parliament.

On nomination day, he made no appearances in his wife’s constituency to prove the point that she is a leader in her own right – “she is one hell of a politician,” he said.

Ann-Marie has vowed to continue the work that she has started in Portland Eastern to complement the fruits borne out of her husband’s labour in the neighbouring Portland Western.

“We are in the most beautiful, safest parish in Jamaica and we are determined, as a couple and individually, to maximise the prosperity of all our East and West Portland family,” she said.

judana.murphy@gleanerjm.com