Letters — 27 September 2013 — by Brenda Sutherland

#54B Reggae St.
Belize City, Belize
22/9/13

The Editor Amandala
Dear Editor,

Street talk of persons who are being asked to contest the PUP Standard Bearer convention for Port Loyola, has already passed the half dozen mark. Those persons include Sherol Saldivar, Wendy Castillo, Englebert Perrera, Jerry Martinez, Ashston Longsworth, and attorneys Richard “Dickie” Bradley, Kevin Arthurs, and Anthony Sylvestre, Jr.

Due to their profession, any of the attorneys would have a huge war chest for the division. Bradley and Sylvestre have both been defeated twice in the Queen’s Square Division by Dean Barrow, the current Prime Minister. If Arthurs takes the plunge, however, it would be his baptism, his first entry into electoral politics. Saldivar is currently employed by the Blue machine; prior to that she was employed with the Belize City Council for a considerable length of time. Her bid to be the PUP Mayoral candidate for the 2012 Belize City Council election was unsuccessful. Wendy Castillo is the President of the PUP Women’s Group; she is also a partner in her husband’s video company. Jerry Martinez is self-employed and a former police officer. Perrera was last employed with Belize Health Care Partners as an accountant. Before taking up that post he was employed in a similar capacity with the Belize City Council. Longsworth is employed as a driver with Godfrey Smith’s law firm. When Smith was a Minister of Government, Longsworth was also employed as his driver.

People in the know say that the special convention to elect the next PUP Standard Bearer for Port Loyola will be held in January of next year. The minimum cost of contesting any standard bearer convention over a four-month period for a candidate who is serious about winning is $40,000. That includes rental of office space, cost of radio and TV commercials, T- shirts with the picture of the candidate, salary for campaign workers, and transportation as well as numerous other costs on the convention day itself.

Any combination of those possible candidates will take on Gilroy Usher, Sr., the PUP incumbent Standard Bearer for the Port Loyola Division. Usher is self-employed as the owner of Monica’s Pawnshop. Before going into business he was a teacher for many years.

Sincerely yours,
Brenda Sutherland

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