Veteran legislator Kurt Tibbetts proved to be “Mr. Popular” in George Town, once again taking the most votes in the capital.
The former leader of the Cayman Islands, who is a stalwart for the Progressives, shared a hug with party leader Alden McLaughlin at 6am Thursday as the pair celebrated victory on the lawn of the party’s George Town headquarters.
It is the sixth time Mr. Tibbetts has been elected to the Legislative Assembly to represent district of George Town.
He took 40 per cent of the vote and was returned as first elected member once again.
“I certainly am very humbled that the people of George Town chose to elect me once again,” Mr. Tibbetts said. “I don’t often tout my own horn, but it certainly is something that I keep in the fore of my mind, understanding and recognising the confidence that people had in me.
“It has been there for six elections now and I certainly use that to ensure that I do what I have to do to be the best representative that I can be.”
He said he was happy the People’s Progressive Movement would now play a leading role in the future of the country.
“I am very happy that we were able to be successful in the numbers that we have and I certainly look forward to us sitting down with other successful candidates and looking at the best way to form a new government and look forward to bigger and better things for the country.”
“I am so happy that the elections were the way they were,” he added. “I said before and I mean it sincerely, I want to congratulate those that were elected, but also congratulate those who attempted and were unsuccessful.”
He said he had never had any thoughts of stepping down.
“That really is not a fact. People misunderstood that because I gave up the [party] leadership, but I gave up the leadership with no intention of not running again.
He said the success of the Progressives came down to “hard work” and “deep thought”.
“We talked to many people throughout all stratas of life in the Cayman Islands,” Mr. Tibbetts said.
“And we certainly know what the concerns of those people are.
And we intend to address them as quickly as we possibly can.”
Marco Archer, who was also elected in George Town for the Progressives, said the result showed people believed in the party system.
“I’m certainly very pleased,” he said. “We did not get quite the 10 (MLAs) that we wanted minimum, but nine is still a significant number.
It will give us a significant influence in achieving our policies and objectives.”
He said the priority for the government would be to get the country’s finances in order and get people back to work. Personally, he said he would remain true to himself and his principles.
“This has been an answer to my prayer,” Mr. Archer said. “I prayed to the lord, I trusted him and he has answered my prayer.
And now I will make a greater contribution to the affairs of my country and the well-being of our people.”
Joey Hew was among the Progressives candidates celebrating at the Crewe Road office in the early hours.
He said he was exhausted, elated and looking forward to getting some sleep.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us and we are ready for it,” he said. “We’ll put a team together quickly to form the government and hit the ground running.”
Mr. Hew’s own race was a nailbiter as he crept into the sixth spot by 51 votes ahead of the United Democratic Party’s Mike Adam.
“It was difficult,” Mr. Hew said. “It was very close for me especially. First of all, you have to put your trust in God. And as I handed out my last manifesto at 5.30, I said it is in God’s hands now.”
He said the win was also down to hard work.
“… [A] lot of work going out and walking the street. We always had a presence in the community, always had the community at heart and so the people saw it worthy to elect. And I am grateful and humble.”