Local Gov't 2016 : Woman quits marketing job to run as councillor

November 15, 2016
Withney Smith

Two years ago, Withney Smith quit her day job and returned to her home in Brompton, St Elizabeth, to get involved in politics.

Smith at the time was 25 years old, fresh out of university, and was a marketing executive at a private firm.

But then she got the call she has always wanted. Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) supporters in Brompton wanted her home. They wanted to see her name on the party's ticket.

"As a caretaker, you don't get any pay. It was pretty much leaving a paying job for a non-paying job," Smith told THE STAR.

When she left her job in May 2014, the local government elections were just one year away. However, the elections were postponed, and the date was only recently set for November 28.

"I didn't know it would take this long, but I was willing to make the sacrifice because I think it was more important to be a representative of the people than actually to be working at a company that probably, their only intention is making profit," she said.

"I believe that even though I would not be getting paid at the moment, I would be more fulfilled doing what I dreamt of doing, which is representing the people," Smith added.

Brompton is considered a strong People's National Party (PNP) seat in South West St Elizabeth. Sandra White won it for the PNP by 365 votes in the March 2012 Local Government Elections.

White will again be the PNP's candidate.

But with Floyd Green winning the division by 40 votes over the PNP's Hugh Buchanan in the February 25 General Elections, Smith seems convinced that she can break the PNP's dynasty in Brompton.

Smith told THE STAR that while Brompton has supported the PNP, she is hoping that people will give her an opportunity to serve them as their next councillor.

"The representation that has been given over the years is very mediocre and we deserve better," said the JLP aspirant, who was born in Fyffes Pen in the parish.

The PNP has not lost Brompton since 1981.

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