Former radio talk-show host and one-time assistant to the premier, Kenneth Bryan, fired the starter’s pistol on election campaign season Monday, becoming the first person to declare his candidacy.
Mr. Bryan, a candidate for the Progressives at the last election in 2013, will run as an independent in the newly created single-member district of George Town Central.
Almost a year out from the putative spring 2017 ballot, Mr. Bryan has launched a multimedia advertising campaign on television, radio and in the newspapers.
He told the Cayman Compass he plans to use the coming months to consult widely in his community and bring a manifesto into the campaign that reflects the views of his constituents.
Mr. Bryan already knows the area well. He said, “This is the area where I was born, the area where I grew up. I remember walking the streets of Eastern Avenue barefoot, as a kid growing up.”
He hopes his ties to the community will serve him well under the new one man, one vote system that will see candidates facing off in smaller, distinct districts for the first time.
Running his gaze across a map of the constituency, which runs from the North Sound to the downtown waterfront, Mr. Bryan said he plans to pound the pavement and ensure his face and his ideas are widely known in the district, which comprises some of the most underprivileged areas in Grand Cayman.
“Many of the social ills that are being neglected by the government are impacting George Town Central. The people that I stand for are the ones that have been left out the most by this government,” he said.
“I don’t see anybody standing up for the average man and woman in this country.
“Caymanians need to know they will get the proper opportunities for them to succeed.”
Security, education and healthcare will be the cornerstone issues of his campaign. He said the quality of the public schools, rising crime and the management of the police force, and access to medical care for the poorest Caymanians, were key concerns.
At this stage, he says, he is not putting forward a detailed manifesto, but will seek the counsel of the community on how best to address those issues.
“My perspective on representation is that, in order to solve the problems we are facing, you have to include the people,” he said.
“Before I start talking about solutions, I want to involve the people I intend to represent.”
Mr. Bryan, who parted company with Rooster’s CrossTalk morning radio show earlier this year, said he had received a lot of public support for his candidacy with people and businesses chipping in what they could afford to support his campaign.
Though he insists he will remain an independent candidate, if elected, Mr. Bryan says, he would be willing to make alliances with other legislators on an issue-by-issue basis.
Despite his differences with current Premier Alden McLaughlin, he says he would be happy to support the Progressives on issues where there is common ground. On the possibility of facing Mr. McLaughlin or any of his other former Progressives colleagues in a single-member district, he insists he is ready to face anyone.
“I want it to be a positive campaign,” he added.
“What happened in the past is in the past.”