There’s strong support in St Philip West for calypsonian John King even though constituents are warning him that incumbent Dr David Estwick is no walk over.
King, a veteran calypsonian, has thrown his hat in the ring as one of the possible challengers to Dr Estwick in the eastern riding, which he has comfortably won for the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) in the past three general elections.
However, when a team from Barbados TODAY visited the area this week, the majority of residents said while they supported King’s bid to carry the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) banner in St Philip West, they generally felt he faced an uphill battle in trying to unseat the DLP incumbent.
“He [John King] is a good fella. I would vote for he,” said one resident of Chapel, who goes simply by the name Shaky.
“He got a good chance. I would like he to win,” he told Barbados TODAY, adding, “Estwick want moving. He ain’t moving right, so I backing John right through.”
Mechanic Vernon Jones, who operates a business in the area, also feels King’s chances are good, even though he concluded that beating Estwick, who is the current Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources Management, “is a hard one right now”.
“I know John for all of my life and he don’t enter anything half hearty. I know he has to have his mind set and I wish him all the best,” added Jones, who said he was willing to throw his support behind the BLP hopeful.
However, weighing into the political discussion, Hazel Brewster of Ebenezer Village, St Philip was adamant that politics was not simply a popularity contest.
In fact, she harked back to the 2008 general election when popular radio personality Ian “Cupid” Gill was defeated by Dr Esther Byer Suckoo by over 900 votes in St George South.
“I definitely thought that this personality was well known across the airwaves, but the doctor beat him,” said Brewster, noting that in King’s case, “his opponent is in the House, he is a strong candidate and he has to do real good to beat Dr David Estwick”.
She stressed that while she felt it was a step in the right direction for the younger generation to have King enter the political arena, “he is in for a challenge because his opponent is going to be a very difficult candidate to be beaten whenever the election is called.
“Yes, John is popular, but Dr David Estwick is popular too. He has his feet already set in the ground. He won three elections already. He is going for his fourth and he is very familiar in his constituency whilst John is known for his calypso and singing,” she said. (KJ)