By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
LESLIE Miller says he supported Obie Wilchcombe in last week’s PLP chairmanship contest because he believes Mr Wilchcombe would look out for past candidates who feel neglected and shut out from seeking nominations in 2022.
In March The Tribune reported Mr Miller’s insistence on securing a nomination despite desire among PLP officials to mostly avoid running former losing candidates in the next election.
PLP leader Philip “Brave” Davis, in an interview yesterday, reiterated that he “expects to have a slate of new candidates” in 2022, adding: “Everyone who runs will have the opportunity once they apply to make a case to their branch. Even if the branch does not recommend them, they will have an opportunity to make a case to the candidates committee when we interview them and if the candidates committee does not recommend them they have an option to make a case to the national general council, which has the final say.”
PLP Chairman Fred Mitchell defeated Mr Wilchcombe by nearly 500 votes last week, strengthening Mr Davis’ hand in the organization.
But Mr Miller said yesterday: “I supported Fred the last time but Fred don’t look out for his former colleagues. I had a beef with Fred because of that because when you’ve been together with people you should look out for them and make sure that they don’t be sidelined. I voted for Obie because I wanted to send Fred a message that you don’t diss your colleagues. But Obie problem was this: people was waiting to get him again because Obie made a lot of promises to all the people and didn’t come through for them.”
Mr Miller said Mr Davis must soon meet with him and “about ten” other former candidates who want to run again. He said failing to address them and their concerns risks sparking a civil war in the party.
212 total votes.
“I want be MP, that’s all I want to be,” he said when asked if he would accept another role. “I have every intention of running and if they don’t nominate me I still gon’ run. But the night Mr Davis gets his nomination I expect to get mine. I will be a candidate in the next election if God spare my life, I promise you that. What party could find 30-plus new candidates? It’s asinine to even think about it.
“The last election loss didn’t go on any particular candidate we had. People went after Mr Christie and we got caught up in the fallout but what’s the big deal? We won before, we lost before. Let me give you a good example of why this makes no sense. Alfred Sears, I don’t think you could find a better candidate than him, could you, yet they would try to go after him if they could. Why would anyone in their right mind wouldn’t want to see Alfred Sears run and be in their cabinet? We have many others in our organization who may want to do that. Damian Gomez is cut from the same cloth; Michael Halkitis, Alfred Gray was a first class MP. No party has ever thrown out most of their former candidates.”
Mr Miller has had little success assembling his former colleagues for a meeting with Mr Davis, The Tribune understands.