On a Sunday when he ordinarily would have been in church, Pastor Dean Reid was at a political conference being introduced formally as the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) candidate in Ewarton Division, St. Catherine North West.
Missing church for the day was worth it, he implied, noting that he considers his political bid an attempt to help more people.
“I will first and foremost always remain true to the Lord and my commitment to God, but I find this as a medium through which I can reach more of my people – and that’s the ultimate,” he told The Beacon yesterday at the end of his party’s St. Catherine North West constituency conference at Ewarton High School.
Reid said he will not allow politics to cause him to deviate from his Christian principles.
“There will be no conflict [and] there will be no blemish, because I have worked in various settings before and I have remained true [to my Christian principles]. This is just a continuity,” he further commented.
He also stated that members of the church he heads – Ewarton Gospel Lighthouse – are not averse to him entering politics.
“My congregation is well pleased because everybody knows that I am here to represent the people and I will do whatever is necessary in order to ensure that the needs of the people are met. This is not anything new for me; ascribing to a [party] colour might be the new part,” Reid added.
In relation to some of the good deeds he has done before deciding to seek political office, he said: “I personally have gotten more than 22 full scholarships for students in this community to attend the university, [and there are] numerous amount of persons I have helped to get houses from Food For The Poor – and the list is long.”
The pastor’s candidacy has been ratified relatively late, considering that the delayed local government elections are due on or before February 27, 2022.
Asked if the relatively narrow window to campaign will negatively affect his chances, the aspiring councillor commented: “I am from Ewarton; I have lived here all my life – and I believe that answers the question. I am not somebody that is not known; I am well known and the people of the community know my integrity; they know my character; they know who I am and I am sure they will respond accordingly… I believe I stand a very very good chance [of winning].”
Reid is set to go up against Daniel ‘Donald’ Tinling, a young businessman from Ewarton. “Daniel is a friend of mine, a good young man and somebody I love and appreciate in the community of Ewarton, but I honestly think at this point in time that I am the person,” he commented.
Tinling succeeded Beverly Jobson-Grant as the PNP’s candidate in Ewarton Division. Jobson-Grant, who was also an educator, is not seeking re-election as councillor.
She twice defeated Millholland Barker of the JLP.
During his party’s constituency conference yesterday, Barker expressed confidence that his successor, Reid, will win the division. He said Moses in the Bible best “epitomizes” his political journey.
“Moses lead the people out of Egypt, across the desert, across the Red Sea, but Moses never reached the Promised Land. He saw the Promised Land,” Barker added, while likening Reid to Joshua who completed the journey Moses started in leading the Israelites to the Promised Land.
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