Despite having contested five previous general elections, the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) incumbent in St Lucy Denis Kellman somehow failed to get it right today during the nomination process.
Kellman had to return to the nomination centre at the Darryl Jordan Secondary School just after midday to resubmit his papers after an error was made this morning.
However, he took it all in stride and quickly put it behind him, concentrating instead on trying to retain the seat.
“I am very confident based on my track record. All these problems that have been highlighted in the constituency, I have been able to deal with them. I have dealt with the roads, I’ve dealt with the housing, agriculture and renewable energy,” he told Barbados TODAY.
Kellman is one of five candidates vying for the seat in the May 24 general election, with Barbados Labour Party (BLP) candidate Peter Phillips, Wayne Griffith the United Progressive Party, Solutions Barbados’ Reverend John Carter and Richard Roachford of Barbados Integrity Movement all securing their nomination today.
Phillips has lost to Kellman twice before, first in 2008 when he went down by 1,411 votes before closing the gap to just 422 votes in 2013.
Kellman said that was an aberration and he expects to reverse those losses come May 24.
“I’m not worried about him because I understood the reason why that occurred. The world had gone into an economic slump and there are certain things the people were looking for that they did not see. It was more a bit of frustration, so now I don’t see anything at this point to be worried about,” he said.
However, Phillips was equally confident of unseating one of the island’s longest serving parliamentarians.
“I’m feeling absolutely great. It has been a long journey and I am quietly confident,” he told Barbados TODAY as he showed up at the school flanked by supporters in a celebratory mood.
As he made his way to the nomination centre loud cheers erupted from students and some members of the ancillary staff.
“The response from the people of St Lucy has been beyond my imagination at this point in time. I would have worked really hard and interactive for the last five year in 2013. I am very comfortable and confident,” the BLP candidate said.
The remaining candidates all projected an air of confidence, with each stressing that voters in the constituency had made it clear they wanted a change, and each presenting himself as the best person to effect that change.
However, Kellman said despite the competition for the seat he has held since 1994, he intended to run a clean campaign.
“I have 40 churches in St. Lucy so I have to respect those churches. I have to worry about the campaign in St Lucy and I can assure you that over the years I have always dealt with issues and I will continue to deal with the issues that will improve the lives of people.
“You don’t need to worry about a dirty campaign coming from my side, if there is a dirty campaign then it has to be the others. I do not know how to deal with that type of campaign,” he said.