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Uncle Les returns to familar grounds

Published:Sunday | September 27, 2015 | 5:38 PM
Leslie Campbell greets a supporter before his resounding victory in the Jamaica Labour Party’s selection race in North East St Catherine.

Familiarity was evident among Leslie Campbell and Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) supporters of North East St Catherine on Saturday.

"Hi, Uncle Les," was the familiar greeting from constituents.

"When Member of Parliament Gregory Mair resigned, I was bombarded with appeals to come forward," Campbell told The Gleaner.

"The people were adamant that they would not be endorsing anyone else," he added.

In an overwhelming show of support, JLP delegates in the constituency voted on Saturday for Campbell over Sharon Hay Webster - 111 to 36 votes.

Campbell is a lawyer by profession and the current deputy of treasurer of the JLP.

Born in Glengoffe in the Mount Industry division of North East St Catherine, Campbell attended Grateful Hill Primary School in the Glengoffe area before going to St Mary's College.

Campbell entered representational politics in 2007 in the then East Central St Catherine constituency but was defeated by the People's National Party's (PNP) Natalie Neita Headley.

"Since then, I have not been in representational politics as it were," said Campbell. "But I have been serving the JLP in different capacities."

Having secured the support of the JLP delegates in North East St Catherine, there are, by Campbell's account, two things immediately on his agenda.

The first, he said is to reengage and re-energise Labourites who have been distracted by the squabble in the constituency.

"It's now about organising, organising, organising as we have the numbers. We just need to re-energise," he said.

The second is to lead an initiative to get water flowing in the drought-wrought constituency in which there is water to be harnessed.

- Gary Spaulding