Damion is the man

Damion is the man

PNP confirms Senator Crawford to run in Portland Eastern

BY HG HELPS
Editor-at-Large
helpsh@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, February 24, 2019

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UNIVERSITY lecturer and businessman Damion Crawford will be unveiled, officially, as the Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) candidate for Portland Eastern tomorrow, the Jamaica Observer can reveal.

Crawford, a senator, got the nod long before the start of yesterday’s service of thanksgiving for the life of late Member of Parliament for the area, Dr Lynvale Bloomfield in Port Antonio.

Dr Bloomfield was found dead at his Passley Gardens home in Portland on February 2. He had been serving his second term as MP for the constituency, which PNP has won far more times than the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP). Police have charged no one in relation to what has been deemed a murder.

Crawford, a vice-president of the party, was confirmed as the man last week after negotiations with the other shortlisted candidate, Dr Donald Rhodd, a former MP for the constituency, broke down.

Yesterday, a high-ranking official of the party confirmed to the Sunday Observer that Crawford was the anointed one.

“Yes, Damion has been selected by the party to be its representative in Eastern Portland when the prime minister calls the election,” stated the official who asked not to be identified by name or nomenclature. “We are at the burial of Comrade Bloomfield now, but by Monday the party will officially announce the decision made, that Comrade Crawford is the man who will represent us,” the official said.

Crawford, who was elected MP for St Andrew East Rural in December 2011, did not contest the 2016 general election.

The JLP has said that it will field Annmarie Vaz as its candidate. She is the wife of MP for Portland Western, Daryl Vaz.

There could be some trouble on the horizon for the PNP though, as attorney-at-law Andrea Moore had signalled her intention to vie for the seat, but has been bypassed again, following her victory over Dr Bloomfield in a popular delegates vote months before the 2016 election.

Moore, in emailed communication last week, underlined her willingness to represent the PNP and vowed to begin the process of an internal campaign after Dr Bloomfield’s burial, but it is not clear how she will take the latest news.

She represented the party in a losing effort in the St Andrew West Rural seat previously.

The party source said that Dr Rhodd, a three-term MP, who, among other things had requested guaranteed financial support from the party for the build-up, would play a key role in the election campaign.

Speculation is that Prime Minister Andrew Holness is likely to announce the date soon for the by-election to be held next month.

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