Source: Jamaica Gleaner
Edmond Campbell, Senior Staff Reporter
As if he was summoning help from above, Dr Peter Phillips looked to the heavens as he released dozens of balloons minutes after he was nominated at the Tarrant Baptist Church on Molynes Road in St Andrew.
A confident Phillips told reporters that he was not contesting this election to lose when asked what would be his next move if he lost to the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) at the September 3 national polls.
Driving in a Toyota Alphard and greeting supporters through the sunroof of the vehicle, Phillips rocked to blaring lyrics of 'get rid of them', a dub plate with a message to the Andrew Holness-led JLP.
Phillips arrived at the nomination centre about 10 am and was ushered into the building along with about 10 of his party workers.
Using $1,000 notes bearing the image of former prime minister Michael Manley, Rona Rhoden, constituency secretary for St Andrew East Central, counted the notes and handed over the $15,000 to the returning officer for Phillips to be nominated.
At 10:17 Phillips signed the nomination documents and the exercise soon came to an end.
A member of Citizens Action for Free and Fair Elections was present to observe the proceedings.
As Phillips went through the nomination exercise, journalists jockeyed for positions in an attempt to capture every moment of the proceedings.
Meanwhile, across from the nomination centre an ardent Phillips supporter, Veronica Tomlinson, armed with her broom, displayed her skills as she demonstrated how she plans to 'sweep out' the ruling party from power.
"If a even half-term, if a even a little term, him need inna the chair because him work for it. Nuff people don"t do what him do."
As she swept even more vigorously, she proclaimed: "Dr Phillips, yeah, that's my boss, who don't like it....".
Phillips’ challenger for a seat in Gordon House is the JLP’s Jodian Myrie.
Her foray into politics started in 2016 when she went up against the People’s National Party’s (PNP) Nenna Wilson in the November local government polls.
Myrie’s attempt to secure a seat in the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation failed after she was beaten by Wilson.
The PNP councillor secured 1,143 votes for the Hagley Park Division to Myrie’s 975.
Phillips became a member of parliament in 1994 after scoring victory in a by-election to succeed the PNP's Arthur Jones.
Since that time, he has won five successive elections to maintain the PNP’s unbroken record for wins in the St Andrew East Central seat.
In the 2016 general elections, Phillips brushed aside his challenger Beverley Prince who secured 4,774 votes to the incumbent’s 7,017.
St Andrew East Central has had a tradition of strong voter support for the PNP.
Even in the 1980 general elections when the JLP scored a landslide victory, winning 51 of the 60 seats over the PNP, the strong campaigner and experienced political wizard Dr D.K. Duncan took home the St Andrew East Central seat for his party.
He won by 2,210 votes, dismissing his rival Leslie Lloyd who polled 8,098 votes.
The constituency, which was created in 1967, never recorded a win for the JLP.
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