By Alexis R. Milan
Mayor Darrell Bradley will contest the upcoming June 7th United Democratic Party convention for the Caribbean Shores constituency against current UDP area representative, Santiago “Santino” Castillo.
“Not to take anything from the honorable Castillo, because he is a minister of government, he is an area representative and that is a position that deserves respect. We bear him no ill-will. But we just believe that we can do a better job in the area and be more responsive to the concerns of residents,” Bradley said.
Bradley said he knew his announcement would not fall on easy ears but he is prepared to contest a convention in which money and political backing is sure to be stacked against him, since the Prime Minister has publicly declared his support for Castillo, citing his family’s long-standing support for the party.
“I will make a prediction that we will be victorious and I will tell you clearly that we will not spend 10 percent of the money that he will spend,” Bradley dared.
Bradley said at the end of the day he believes that his public record of serving and delivering will propel him to a victory over any amount of spending done by his opponent. He said he has been on the ground putting together his committees and engaging with people, asking for their support.
According to Bradley, residents who recently elected him to a second term as mayor need not fear that his priorities are skewed because he has proven to be more than capable of handling the pressure of multiple roles over the past three years, acting as both mayor and as a practicing attorney. This combination has yielded unprecedented development, Bradley said.
Bradley said his aspirations to enter the national platform from the municipal level is not unprecedented in Belize. He recalled Prime Minister Dean Barrow stepping down from City Council for Central Government.
“Derrick Aikman did that! Joe Coye as mayor did that! Hubert Elrington did that! So there is a precedent,” he said.
Speaking on a possible replacement in the event that he were to be elected to the National Assembly, Bradley said he believes that any of his current councillors would be prepared and qualified to fill the role as Mayor of the country’s largest municipality.