Fri | Dec 1, 2023

Pastor Davis to the rescue

Aspiring PNP councillor says voters fed up with current York Town division leadership

Published:Friday | September 22, 2023 | 12:05 AMOlivia Brown/Gleaner Writer
Pastor Anthony Davis
Pastor Anthony Davis

PASTOR ANTHONY Davis has sounded a trumpet, positing himself as the saving grace for the York Town division in the Clarendon South Western constituency.

The division is currently headed by his fellow party member, embattled People’s National Party (PNP) councillor Uphel Purcell. Purcell’s leadership was brought into disrepute following a leaked sex tape in March. But, despite the constituency committee reporting in a release dated March 27, that Purcell had tendered a verbal resignation at three different meetings, Purcell, in a subsequent interview with The Gleaner, denied any resignation claims, and said he remained in his positions.

Purcell, one of the longest-serving councillors in the central parish, has been at the helm of the York Town division since 1998.

In the last local government elections in 2016, he managed to poll 60 per cent of the votes; getting 1,107 votes to the Jamaica Labour Party’s Gavaska Plummer’s 720 votes.

Councillor-hopeful Davis, also an educator, told The Gleaner that he intends to re-route the division on a positive trajectory.

“I have been a member of the division from a tender age, and I have watched what we the PNP call ‘the machinery’ fall apart, which is the group structure, and other relational fall-out with the [current] councillor, so I have offered myself to rescue what we consider to be the strongest division in the country, and we want to keep in that way in the column for the People’s National Party,” Davis said in a Gleaner interview.

“Persons are tired and fed-up [with the current leadership],” he asserted.

According to Davis, his plan to venture into representational politics was not founded on any personal interests, but rather geared towards the holistic development of the division.

Citing a good relationship with the community, Davis said constituents have long been lobbying for his representation and leadership, positing, also, that he has the support of the top brass of the PNP.

“The two former members of parliament who know me well, who I’ve worked with in the past, have called me to say, ‘Davis, ensure that you rescue the division’. The people I minister to across the York Town division are ready to vote ‘Pastor Davis’. In my professions as pastor, dean of discipline, and guidance counsellor, I’ve had to interact with persons at all levels of our communities, hence I bring this experience to ensure an excellent interaction between electors and councillor,” Davis said.

Three of the four divisions within Clarendon South Western are ruled by the PNP. Former councillor Godfrey Knight of the Toll Gate division lost his seat by one vote in 2016.

Davis said he plans to reunite the York Town division, especially through social initiatives that have collapsed over time.

“If the structure of the PNP is in place, it is impossible to lose an election,” said Davis.