The newly nominated candidate to contest the Christ Church East Central for the Barbados Labour Party Ryan Straughn has sworn to work with his four colleagues of the five-constituency parish for a clean sweep in the next election.
The 39-year-old Straughn sailed through the nomination last night after two other contestants, including former candidate Desmond Sands pulled out of the contest in the BLP branch meeting in the packed auditorium of the Deighton Griffith Secondary School.
“As I stand here to you tonight, the work begins. We will move to every corner of this constituency, every corner of Christ Church to ensure that when the next election is called that there are five to add to the others that we will bring home,” he said to applause in his maiden speech as a candidate.
“There is an old saying that you can’t win the Government without Christ Church, so I say to the other candidates in Christ Church that we, all five of us, must work hand in glove to ensure that when they see one, they see five.”
Straughn’s nomination followed that of Queen’s Counsel Ralph Thorne in Christ Church South and Pharmacist Adrian Green in Christ Church West Central. Nominations are scheduled for next Wednesday in Christ Church East, where caretaker Senator Wilfred Abrahams is expected to get the nod in a similarly uncontested fashion as the first three nominees.
Christ Church West is the remaining constituency and is the only BLP parliamentary parish seat, held by Dr Maria Agard.
“To the other candidates I say we have to win this thing not just because we want to form the Government, that would be the easier part; we have to win it for my son’s generation, and his children, and grandchildren.
“We must build effective capacity in Barbados because we have to deal with the situation now, but also look down the road and put things in place to ensure that the situation that we are in now never ever happens again in this country. As a party we must work hard in silence and let success make the noise.”
Straughn paid tribute to Sands, who contested the seat for the BLP in 2013, for stepping aside to make way for himself, as a giant who put the interest of the people first.
BLP leader Mia Mottley said she supported Straughn’s candidacy because of his “demonstrated analytical ability” as an economist, as well as his courage and entrepreneurial spirit, having given up “ the security of a job” as an economist at the Central Bank.
“This gentleman, with a child under a year old, opened his own business and decided that he would find his way in the world to help support his wife and family. That was double courage.
“I therefore felt that I had a duty, not to bring him just because he is an economist, because there are many economists out there, but . . . it was the other things that he did that spoke to me about his character [and his] courage.”