Dalton Laing, Gleaner Writer
( L - R ) Buchanan, Foote
The reign of political peace in Westmoreland ended about 5:00 p.m. Wednesday in the small Whitehouse district of Gordon, when the two candidates for Westmoreland Eastern clashed in what some described as a brawl.
The Gleaner understands that a group of Jamaica Labour Party supporters, led by candidate Don Foote, was campaigning in Gordon when candidate Luther Buchanan of the People's National Party visited the area. The Labourites complained that the Comrades were blocking their path during the tour, making it impossible for them to pass.
Reports are that Foote confronted Buchanan about the blocking of the roadway and a heated argument developed. A fight ensued, during which Foote was reportedly slapped in the face and his shirt torn off.
Mr. Buchanan told The Gleaner that he was in the Gordon area on a routine campaign when, while touring a section of the community which had a bad road, he noticed there was a commotion about vehicles blocking the way.
"I went to Mr. Foote and was about to tell him to let us work out any differences as leaders and he immediately pointed his finger in my face and tried to spawn my face." Buchanan continued. "My supporters took offence to this action and a fight developed."
He said he did not at any time hit or attempt to hit Mr. Foote.
Mr. Foote, on the other hand, said the road was blocked and Mr. Buchanan held him by his shirt and demanded that he leave the area.
"Dem block the road and the man (Buchanan) hold me in me shirt and say 'Leave the area, if me nuh see say a PNP area this.'"