Kern's brother wants to be MP
Kern Spencer's younger brother, Dr Dawine Spencer, has expressed an interest in representing the People's National Party (PNP) in the South East St Elizabeth constituency.
A medical doctor by profession, the 39-year-old said that he decided to throw his hat into the ring after been asked by a number of influential persons to enter representational politics.
Richard Parchment, the PNP standard-bearer in the constituency, quit as constituency chairman recently after he was twice rejected by the people in consecutive elections.
"Richard Parchment, the former MP, he and I share a good relationship and it wouldn't be wise to challenge for the leadership of the constituency to vie for the seat at that time," he told THE STAR.
Dr Spencer said that some of the most influential socialists in the constituency, among them Len Blake, a former member of parliament, felt that local talent is needed to represent the party in any the future political contest.
"They asked me to step in because they don't think that it would look good if we couldn't find a home-grown individual to represent in the constituency, and that was when my name came up and I accepted the challenge," he said.
Dr Spencer, who operates a medical practice in Junction, the main town in the constituency, is taking the plunge despite his brother being forced out of politics due to a scandal.
Kern, a former junior minister in the energy ministry, was charged with corruption and money laundering for his alleged role in the Cuban light-bulb programme. The allegations were never proven in court and Kern emerged a free man but with a tattered image.
However, Dawine is convinced that the tribulations of his brother will not hurt his chances of becoming member of parliament.
"The courts not only freed him, but also maintained that he didn't even have a charge to answer to. So it was not like he had to defend a case. You know how people may feel about it, but it was just a scandal created by the JLP," he said
WEALTH OF KNOWLEDGE
The St Elizabeth native says he has a wealth of knowledge of the issues as well as needs of the various communities within the constituency and, if selected by the PNP, he hopes to place youth empowerment high on his agenda.
"We really need somebody who is able to get back the support of the PNP members. We shouldn't have lost the seat in the first place. Richard Parchment only lost by 205 votes even with the swing towards the JLP," Spencer said.
South East St Elizabeth was one of 11 seats that swung away from the grasp of the PNP in the February 2016 general election that the Jamaica Labour Party won by one seat.
South East St Elizabeth has consistently voted for the winning party since 1989, which included Frank Witter's victory in 2007 which helped the JLP take power 32-28 in the then 60-seat House of Representatives. Witter is again the MP.