Culmer: Last-minute changes to candidates “nothing new”
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Free National Movement (FNM) has selected 32-year-old D’Angelo Ferguson as the new candidate for Mangrove Cay and Central and South Andros after Kenneth Smith, who was ratified in February, pulled out of the race due to health issues.
In a statement on Saturday, FNM Chairman Carl Culmer said Smith requested that his name be removed from nomination for the constituency due to health reasons.
“The FNM regrettably accepted his resignation and respects his rights to privacy,” he said.
Culmer told Eyewitness News yesterday that the party followed its nomination process and Ferguson was eventually selected as the next candidate.
He said eight people applied for candidacy for the constituency committee.
Culmer said Ferguson had been campaigning side-by-side with Smith every day throughout the constituency and knows the communities very well.
“That’s why the persons down there had no problem recommending him for the position,” he said.
The FNM chairman added that the change of a candidate so close to Election Day is “nothing new” and has previously happened in the organization in elections past.
“It’s nothing new to the election process. Persons can get ill; we don’t know when we get ill. The thing is to have persons in place ready to step in place,” he said.
“We have other candidates that, God forbid something happens, we have persons in place. Our reach is far and wide and persons are happy with the performance of this government and want to be associated with this party. So, at the end of the day, there is no problem finding persons to step up to the plate for our party.”
Culmer thanked Smith for his willingness to sacrifice and serve the people of Andros.
“He will be missed on the frontline, and we wish him a speedy return to good health and God’s blessing,” he said.
He insisted that Ferguson, who was born in Kemp’s Bay, South Andros, is eager to serve as a voice for residents in that constituency.
Ferguson is an assistant manager at a local cable company, responsible for customer experience and information technology.
He is an assistant district manager in the national Youth Empowerment Program and served as a former trustee in the Torchbearers Youth Association.
He also founded The Lenard & Nancy Stuart Memorial Foundation, which raises funds to provide scholarship opportunities to students of South Andros High School.
Culmer said that with Ferguson’s background in IT and business, and his “passion for developing our youth, the FNM is confident that D’Angelo Ferguson will help advance the Minnis administration’s work to move The Bahamas forward for our children”.
The next general election will be held on Thursday, September 16, 2021.