Two days after he was presented as the likely candidate for the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) in St James Central, business executive George Connolly seems to have had a change of heart.
It was just last Sunday that Connolly came up for intense grilling from members of the St James Central branch after he was identified as the possible successor to George Hutson, who last won the seat for the DLP in 2008.
However, in terse email message to Barbados TODAY this evening, he informed that:
“I did consider [running for the DLP, but I] informed the constituency that same evening that I had no interest in contesting that or any other seat.”
This after party officials Tuesday reported that Connolly was placed under immense pressure professionally after revealing his political hand.
However, in a bid to reclaim the St James Central seat, which has been held by the Barbados Labour Party’s Kerrie Symmonds since 2008, the DLP has been looking for fresh blood.
During Sunday night’s branch meeting at the Good Shepherd Primary School in Fitts Village, St James, Connolly’s candidacy was therefore openly discussed, with former Minister of Justice and ex-DLP representative for St James South Keith Simmons demanding information on the prospective candidate’s background, while another constituent wanted to know if Connolly could handle criticism, to which he replied it was a part of life.
General council member Dr Kevin Kellman had also demanded to know why Connolly wanted to be involved in politics and whether he loved people.
“My question to you is, do you love people? The reason why I am asking you that is because I as a doctor am in a profession where that is essential. I believe that in order for you to be effective as a doctor you must have a genuine love for people.
“It will show in how you deal with patients and they will speak about it. This is analogous to a politician,” Dr Kellman said, advising Connolly that when voters enter the booth on election day, they vote for candidates to whom they feel connected, not necessarily for policies.
In his continued attempt to get to know Connolly, Dr Kellman continued to pose a number of other questions, ranging from the DLP hopeful’s commitment to the constituency to his vision for the people.
“Are you prepared to sacrifice your interests and put it on the altar to make sure that your constituents get what they want? Are you prepared to go out there come hell or high water and do the hard work that is necessary? Are you prepared to listen to criticism and not take it personally? Are you prepared to go on the block and engage those fellows on the block? Are you prepared to go into the bars and engage the people in there? Are you prepared to give to the people your vision for them, the constituency and by extension the country at large?”
Connolly simply sat and listened while the questions were being fired at him, giving Dr Kellman the last say.
“If you are not prepared to do that, be done with it,” the general council member had warned, stressing he needed answers in order to give Connolly his full support.
A final decision on who will represent the DLP in the western riding is expected in a matter of weeks.