Christopher “Boy Ross” Wright, independent candidate for the Hollywood/Point Fortin electoral district in Monday’s by-election, has blamed his loss on “nasty rumours” that he claims the PNM spread about him.
But the victorious PNM candidate, Leslie Chang Fong, said this is untrue.
Chang Fong, who is also deputy mayor of Point Fortin, won the by-election with 394 votes, while the UNC’s Daniel John got 58 and Wright got 307.
On Tuesday Wright asked for a recount, but the numbers remained unchanged.
Speaking with Newsday on Wednesday morning, he said that so many people voted for him was “excellent.
“Reason being, the people in the community wanted a change.
“I ran a clean and fair campaign with little to no resources at all. And when the PNM realised the support I had on the ground, they started to spread all kind of nasty rumours. Because on election day, when my driver was picking up people, they were coming back and saying, ‘So and so say this,’ and that hurt me.”
Asked if he believed the rumours caused his loss, he said, “I know that’s what caused it.
“Diehard PNM people will always vote PNM, and we know how that goes. But the community wanted a change, and someone from the community.”
He reiterated what he said on nomination day, that, in his view, someone who is not
from the Hollywood district should not run as its councillor. Chang Fong lives in Mahaica.
Wright said he will continue to work for his community and will be returning stronger in 2022.
He added that he will be looking at Chang Fong closely.
“You stand up on a platform and you sell dreams. You say you’re going to do this and you going to do that. You say you’re going to do this project.
“I understand how the politics goes. I am going to use the media to pressure him within the next year.
“I wasn’t just going there to get an additional paycheck to my name. I was going there to work, I am passionate about my community. I am already visible in the community, so that let people know this man is serious.”
Chang Fong told Newsday he was elated at the results, but was also elated the election is over as he is “lacking some sleep” from all the campaigning.
He also complained of a sore throat.
“We covered the entire area about three or four times,” he said.
He said traditionally, by-elections have a low voter turnout, so he was not surprised by that. He also said there is a large senior population in Hollywood and many did not wish to leave their homes to vote, owing to the covid19 pandemic.
As for Wright’s claims of spreading rumours, he laughed and said, “I know of no rumours being spread by any member of the PNM. I know of no rumours being spread by my campaign team…But it doesn’t surprise me he would say such a thing.”
Asked why he was not surprised, Chang Fong said, “He didn’t win.
“And I could probably use the same opportunity to address some rumours I was hearing about myself that were coming from him and his campaign team.”
But he said he does not have time for that and his focus is now moving forward and serving the people.
In a Facebook post on Monday night, Wright congratulated Chang Fong and said, “I must say a heartfelt thank you to all those who supported me on this journey. Considering the resources we had, team we did well.”