Sun | Sep 19, 2021

Former PNPYO VP eyes NE St Ann seat

Published:Saturday | June 22, 2019 | 12:00 AMCarl Gilchirst/Gleaner Writer
Kevin Smith

Six years ago Kevin Smith resigned his post as first vice president of the People’s National Party Youth Organisation (PNPYO) to study abroad.

Now Smith has returned to the island and has immediately signalled his intention to challenge for the North East St Ann constituency seat, held by Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) Shahine Robinson for the past 18 years.

“Plan number one is to offer myself in public service in terms of putting up myself as a candidate,” Smith told The Gleaner.

“My interest is in North East St Ann where I believe I can add value based on the experience I’ve brought from overseas and from being here as well.”

“I’m also a son of North East St Ann, I’ve lived in the constituency, I’ve run business in the constituency, I pretty much understand the needs of the constituency and I believe I can add value, as a home grown talent, to the constituency in terms of its future needs and the modern needs of the constituents,” he added.

Smith said he has already applied to be the PNP’s representative for North East St Ann in the next general election and is confident of being chosen as the party’s candidate.

“I am confident. I have served at various positions in the party, I’ve served as PNPYO vice president, I’ve served as regional chair, I’ve served as constituency executive for North East St Ann for the PNP, I’ve served the Ocho Rios division as vice chairman. I’ve served pretty much at every facet that the PNP structure has to offer. I’m not coming here to learn a structure, I believe I’ve applied myself over the years and I think I will be confirmed.”

Smith said although there are several basic needs in the constituency, he would consult with constituents to see what their priorities are and make those his priorities.  

He is also in a position, he believes, to draw on his overseas links, part of which is his connection to Amazon, where he currently serves as chief software engineer consultant, a job he picked up after completing his Masters degree in computer science.  

Smith is also the second vice president of the Jamaica Association of Maryland, a 30-year-old charitable organisation based in Baltimore, USA.

“I’m looking to coax them (Amazon) to come here as well, jobs creation is one area; we’re looking to ensure that our tourism workers are better paid, there is a myriad of issues that you can bring to the table on behalf of your constituents once you become a lawmaker,” Smith outlined.

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