By Alexis R. Milan
Caribbean Shores Area Representative, Santiago “Santino” Castillo announced on Thursday that he will step down and allow Mayor Darrell Bradley to be endorsed as the official candidate for the United Democratic Party (UDP) in Caribbean Shores.
Castillo said he had long, hard nights thinking about the decision and it took him a long time to make, but ultimately he decided it was best for the party. He reasoned that a convention between himself and Bradley would be comparable to the upcoming Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao fight and rather than putting the party through a a potentially divisive convention, he decided the noble thing to do was gracefully bow out.
According to Castillo, he called the Prime Minister on Tuesday and informed him of his decision. Castillo added that he was confident that he would not have lost, had he remained in the race. He said he does not regret his decision and is unequivocally pledging his full support for Bradley in Caribbean Shores.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow said Castillo’s decision was made entirely on his own, after consultation with his family. He added that although he had previously expressed his support for Castillo in the scheduled convention, he was pleased there is now no need for one.
Barrow assured that Castillo was fully on board in supporting Bradley in the upcoming endorsement convention on June 7th. He said the pieces are now falling into place for the next general election.
Barrow expressed his gratitude to Castillo, praising him as an outstanding Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, who was able to secure two substantial loans and played a key supervisory role of the Social Investment Fund (SIF).
Speaking on the party’s Caribbean Shores’ new UDP standard bearer, Barrow said Bradley is young, charged, full of energy, and ready to carry on the work for the party in the area. He pointed to Bradley’s recent success in last month’s municipal elections and said the Mayor is hugely popular and for good reason. Barrow declared that Bradley would no doubt be the constituency’s next area representative.
Bradley said he accepted Castillo’s words with humility and pride and an understanding of the burden ahead. He said that Castillo had shared his experiences with him and given him an idea of the challenge he would face. Bradley thanked him for his support. He described the moment as an exciting time and said he would continue to be on the ground working as tirelessly as he has been during his first term as Mayor.