Over the past few weeks, I have been approached by many individuals inquiring as to whether I would be offering myself again as a candidate in the upcoming General Elections for the Progressive Liberal Party.
If there is any doubt about my intentions, I wish to confirm that YES… once again, I have offered myself to be the Progressive Liberal Party’s Standard Bearer for the Central Grand Bahama Constituency.
There are others who have also expressed their interest in being candidates in the upcoming General Elections, as is their democratic right, BUT the final decision as to who will be the ratified Standard Bearer for this constituency, is presently going through the normal democratic process in accordance with the Party’s constitution. A final decision has not yet been made, but I believe it is imminent and it is my intention to respect and abide by that decision.
What I have learnt and have come to appreciate since my affiliation with the oldest and most powerful political organization in the country, is that it welcomes anyone who wants to be a part of this Party; it has a huge tent, with members and supporters from every socio-economic background in the country. It also has many moving parts with a far-reaching global impact.
In 2011, I was named the PLP’s candidate for the now nonexistent Eight Mile Rock Constituency, and later became the Party’s Standard Bearer for the Central Grand Bahama Constituency, which is a combination of areas from the old Lucaya Constituency and areas of the former Eight Mile Rock Constituency. There were many headwinds pushing against my 2012 candidacy, given my opponent was a formidible FNM giant on Grand Bahama; Mr. Neko Grant.
Many persons, including some of my own family members thought I was crazy to even consider such a challenge, especially against someone who was viewed as the strongest FNM contender on Grand Bahama. They reminded me that he normally beat his opponents by more than 1,400 votes and when I analyzed the 2007 results, I realized that the PLP had lost this constituency by more than 950 votes. Many individuals exerted great energy and efforts to discourage me, but I decided deep within myself, that this was a journey I was ready to embark upon.
The 2012 results are history. I was unsuccessful, losing by a little over 100 votes in the third largest constituency in The Bahamas. Since that time, I have absolutely no regrets and I’ve never looked back and will never look back.
Notwithstanding the challenges this government has faced over the past 4 ½ years and continue to face on a daily basis, I have been privileged to serve in my capacity as a Senator and I hope that where I could help, I helped in a meaningful way.
Going forward, I will continue to do all I that I can, for as long as I can, to help as many as I can.
I still believe that the Progressive Liberal Party is the best political party to continue in the governance of this country, and the Right Hon. Perry G. Christie is still the best man to be at the helm of the ‘ship of state’ especially at such a time as this. He is a visionary, he is steady, tested, tried and proven.
We are at a very critical time in our country’s development, when the country needs steady, stable and focused leadership. Leadership that is resolute in its intentions and not distracted by unpredictable elements which may be inadvertent or even intentional, but can have the capability to render not only confusion, but also paralysis.
Our country needs leadership that is not only experienced and visionary, but also stable and optimistic, especially in times of crisis. We need leadership that is caring and compassionate and unafraid to face the daunting challenges which will no doubt continue to come our way. We need leadership that speaks with clarity and is respected globally.
My goal and my vision for Central Grand Bahama, especially the communities of Hepburn Town, Pinder’s Point, Lewis Yard, Hunters, Mack Town and my country, is to see an improvement in the standard of living for all, improved environment conditions, sustainable opportunities to earn a livable wage for everyone and equal pay for all regardless of a person’s gender, colour or size. These among others, will be the priority areas of my focus.
I believe my significant professional experience both locally and internationally in the financial field, is an asset that I think is needed to continue to move in the direction to achieve these goals.
As we embark upon a New Year, I believe that we are still a blessed nation that has much to give God thanks for. It is therefore my hope and prayer, that God will continue to guide and protect our country and our citizens from danger seen and unseen, and that His bountiful blessings will be showered upon us in 2017 and beyond.
Happy New Year and may God continue to bless the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.
~ Senator Julian Russell
Published Tuesday, January 3, 2017