Returning officers will hear candidate nominations between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. today. Cayman Compass reporters will submit updates on location from the country’s 19 nominating locations as they develop. — Ed.
3:40 PM: That’s a wrap for nomination day with a record 63 candidates registered to run across the Cayman Islands. Premier Alden McLaughlin sprang the surprise of the day, switching from George Town Central to contest the Red Bay district, leaving Finance Minister Marco Archer to fight it out with independent Kenneth Bryan in central. The Progressives are running 15 candidates across Cayman and backing Tara Rivers, a member of the government, but not the party, in her West Bay seat.
The Cayman Democratic Party are running 11 candidates and supporting some independent candidates in other districts. The rest of the candidates are independents.
Leader of the Opposition McKeeva Bush runs in West Bay West against the Progressives’ Daphne Louise Orrett and Independent candidate Paul Rivers.
Environment Minister Wayne Panton will fight it out with former colleague Al Suckoo, now an independent, and Mario Rankin and Raul Gonzales, also independents in Newlands.
Veteran North Side and East End independents Ezzard Miller and Arden McLean both face challenges in their respective strongholds. Mr. Miller faces Ed Chisholm, for the Progressives, and independents Johany ‘Jay’ Ebanks’ and Justin Ebanks. Mr. McLean faces independents Isaac Rankine and John McLean junior.
For the full list of candidates and where they are running, scroll down.
3:40 PM: According to the 3:20 p.m. update from Supervisor of Elections Wesley Howell, Pearlina McGaw-Lumsden registered as a CDP candidate in George Town North; Karin M. Thompson registered as an independent candidate in George Town North; Dennie Warren Jr. is an independent candidate for George Town West; Alric Jeremy Lindsay registered as an independent candidate in George Town South; Barbara Elizabeth Conolly registered as a Progressive candidate in George Town South; Lucille Seymour registered as a Progressives candidate in Prospect; Arnold Berry is an independent candidate for Bodden Town East.
3:35 PM: Daphne Louise Orrett registered as a Progressives candidate in West Bay West; Paul Rivers is an independent candidate for West Bay West. They will face off against McKeeva Bush.
3:20 PM: Premier Alden McLaughlin, who was widely expected to run in George Town Central, sprang a surprise when he showed up at the Seafarer’s Hall to register as a candidate in Red Bay. Immediately after signing his papers he told Cayman Compass reporter James Whittaker, “It’s a tremendous sense of responsibility and a new commitment each time and having done it four times and now been Premier, I know what that commitment really means.”
Explaining the switch to Red Bay he said he had been anxious to avoid a potentially nasty personal campaign with his former assistant Kenneth Bryan, who he said had been engaged in a negative campaign targeting him personally in Central George Town for the last 18 months.
“The people that I have represented for 16 years now deserve a campaign that focuses on the issues and not on personal differences. I am quite confident that I could successfully contest a seat anywhere in George Town.”
3:00 PM: According to the 2:20 p.m. update from Supervisor of Elections Wesley Howell, Wayne Panton is running for Newlands as a Progressives candidate; Mike Adam is a Cayman Democratic Party candidate for George Town South; Chris Saunders registered as an independent candidate for Bodden Town West; Robert Bodden registered as a Cayman Democratic Party candidate for Bodden Town East; Dwayne Seymour registered as an independent candidate for Bodden Town East.
2:30 PM: Marco Archer registered as a Progressives candidate in George Town Central.
2:25 PM: Alden McLaughlin registered as a candidate for the Progressives in Red Bay.
2:10 PM: Tara Rivers registered as an independent candidate for West Bay South.
2 PM: Laura Young registers as an independent candidate for West Bay South.
1:50 PM: According to the 1:20 p.m. update from Supervisor of Elections Wesley Howell, Moses Kirkconnell is a Progressives candidate for Cayman Brac West & Little Cayman; Maxine Avon Moore is an independent candidate for Cayman Brac West & Little Cayman; Rudolph Dixon is an independent candidate for Cayman Brac East.
1:45 PM: According to the 1:20 p.m. update from Supervisor of Elections Wesley Howell, Jonathan Piercy is a Cayman Democratic Party candidate for George Town West; David Charles Wight is a Progressives candidate for George Town West; Heather Bodden is a Progressives candidate for Savannah; Gilbert McLean is an independent candidate for Bodden Town West.
1:25 PM: Edward Owen Chisholm, PPM candidate, is a candidate for North Side.
1 PM: George Town Central independent candidate Kenneth Bryan arrives at the city’s Town Hall to register his candidacy for the May 24 elections.
Town Hall is the nomination location for George Town Central.
12:35 PM: According to the 12:20 p.m. update from Supervisor of Elections Wesley Howell, Tessa “Theresa” Bodden running as a Cayman Democratic Party candidate for George Town East. Raul Gonzalez Jr. is running as an independent candidate for Newlands.
12:20 PM: Osbourne Bodden registers as a candidate for Bodden Town East under the Progressive banner.
Bodden Town East’s nomination location is Webster Memorial United Church Hall.
12 PM: Maxine Bodden Robinson has registered in Bodden Town West. She is running with the Progressives.
11:55 AM: Mervin Smith handed in his nomination papers to run as an independent candidate in West Bay North.
Mr. Smith told Cayman Compass reporter Michael Klein that his message has not changed from four years ago when he also ran as an independent candidate in West Bay.
“I still see jobs and opportunities and the ability of our people to get those opportunities as a big issue,” he said.
11:50 AM: Denniston Tibbetts, the Cayman Democratic Party’s candidate in Red Bay, arrived at the polling station at the Seafarer’s Hall with a small crowd of friends and supporters just before 11 a.m.
Mr. Tibbetts’ wife Pat and daughter Denise, as well as fellow George Town CDP candidate Mike Adam, were there to offer their support.
Mr. Tibbetts told Cayman Compass reporter James Whittaker that it was a privilege and an honour to run as the CDP’s candidate in Red Bay.
Kurt Tibbetts, Mr. Tibbetts’ brother and former leader of government and PPM stalwart, announced his retirement from politics this week.
11:45 AM: When Roy McTaggart arrived to register his nomination at Agape Family Worship Centre at 10:30 a.m, he told Cayman Compass reporter James Whittaker: “I am excited about it, I think we have a strong record to run on and I’m delighted to run with this team.”
Mr. McTaggart will represent the PPM in the George Town East district. He ran in the last election as an independent backed by the Coalition for Cayman before joining the government, and later joining the PPM.
He said he believed the party was the best choice for Cayman.
He said he had looked at his own numbers from the last election, before selecting George Town East as his constituency. “I believe I have strong support in the district,” he said.
11:35 AM: According to the 11:20 a.m. update from Supervisor of Elections Wesley Howell, Alva Suckoo is an independent candidate for Newlands; Roy McTaggart is running in George Town East with the Progressives; Sharon Roulstone is running as an independent in George Town East; and Mario Rankin is running as an independent candidate for Newlands; Burns Rankin is running as an independent candidate for West Bay South.
11:25: When independent candidate John McLean Jr. registered in East End, told Cayman Compass reporter Kayla Young: “What is important to me is to have my people’s interests looked after for the first time in many years. I really want to do the best I can with regard to promoting businesses here and ensuring that our people in this district are first and foremost.”
“For too long they have been pushed aside and not noticed,” he said. Mr. McLean identified unemployment and infrastructure development as key issues. He suggested turning Wreck of the Ten Sails into a theme park to promote tourism.
11:20: Ezzard Miller, independent, has registered in North Side.
11:10: John McLean Jr. has registered as a candidate for East End.
11:10: Joey Hew has registered as a candidate in George Town North with the Progressives.
11:05: Former Port Authority Director Paul Hurlston, independent, has registered to run as a candidate in George Town South.
10:55 AM: McKeeva Bush arrived at the West Bay Public Library to submit his paperwork to run in West Bay West.
10:50 AM: When Isaac Rankine submitted his paperwork to run in East End, he told Cayman Compass reporter Kayla Young: “I’ve seen what East End has become. It’s gotten worse over the last several cycles. It has been neglected. There are things people in the district are crying out for. We are having problems with unemployment. We are having problems with education and we are having problems with economic activity in our district. Thus I thought I should throw my hat in the ring.”
He highlighted unemployment and poor public transportation as leading issues.
“East End for Grand Cayman has the largest rate of unemployment. That is true with a number of related issues. The distance from here to town is an issue. I’ve experienced that personally. … The unreliability of the public transportation system is a problem for us,” he said. He also encouraged greater access to vocational training to boost East End development.
10:45 AM: Ellio Solomon arrived at Smith Road Centre to submit his papers to run in the district George Town West.
10:45 AM: When incumbent East End candidate Arden McLean submitted his papers for the May 2017 election, he told Compass reporter Kayla Young: “My top priorities for this country are education, security, health, unemployment and opportunity for Caymanians to rise. In particular for the district of East End, I want to see small businesses in the tourism sector. That is very important to me,” he said.
Mr. McLean encouraged pushing economic development through efforts like the Go East initiative. “I still believe in that, that we need incentives to go east. The tourist related businesses are here, eco tourism and the like. I want to see incentives given to people in that area,” he said.
10:45 AM: According to the 10:30 a.m. update from Supervisor of Elections Wesley Howell, Katherine Ebanks-Wilks is running in West Bay Central; Catherine Tyson is running in George Town South; Kenrick Webster is running in George Town East; Kent McTaggart is running in Savannah; Johany “Jay” Ebanks is running in North Side; Nickolas DaCosta is running in Cayman Brac West & Little Cayman; Juliana O’Connor-Connolly is running in Cayman Brac East
10:15: Sarah Orrett-Ebanks, independent, is running in West Bay North.
10 AM: Austin Harris has arrived to submit his papers to run in Prospect. He said he was feeling nervous but relieved that the nomination had come. “It’s a great opportunity and I’m looking forward to the road ahead,” he said. “I’m taking nothing for granted, but I’m very encouraged by the responses I have received from constituents in the Prospect district.”
9:30 AM: Matthew Leslie was the first to submit his nomination papers to run in Prospect. He told Compass reporter James Whittaker that he was honoured to have to ordinary constituents such as Marlon Ford and Maria Sapidan sign his nomination papers. “These are the people [ordinary folks] who I have championed all these years; they’re the reason I am running.
He said he expected a tough campaign with four or five others.
9:30 AM: According to the 9 a.m. update from Supervisor of Elections Wesley Howell, Bernie Bush is running in West Bay North; Frank McField is running in Red Bay; Anthony Eden is running in Savannah; Berry Stafford is running in Bodden Town West with the Cayman Democratic Party; Justin Ebanks is running in North Side as an independent.
9:30 AM: No candidates have been registered so far in George Town West.
9:35 AM: Eugene Ebanks is running in West Bay Central with the Cayman Democratic Party.
West Bay Central’s nomination location is Ed Bush Field Conference Room.
9:30 AM: No candidates have been registered so far in Bodden Town East or George Town North.
9:15 AM: Isaac Rankine is running as an independent in East End.
9 AM: Catherine Tyson submitted her papers to run as an independent candidate in George Town South.
Right: Ms. Tyson is interviewed by Radio Cayman reporter Shanda Gallego at South Sound Community Centre as her two nominators, Magdelena Stewart and Leroy Holness, look on.
George Town South’s nomination location is at South Sound Community Centre.
8:45: Stafford Berry is running as a candidate with the Cayman Democratic Party in Bodden Town West.
Bodden Town West’s nomination location is at the Agricultural Grounds Pavilion.