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ST. CROIX — Governor Kenneth Mapp has told this reporter on multiple occasions that he would wait until the Democratic primary had seen a winner on August 4 to launch in earnest his campaign. But at least one person close to the governor told The Consortium that Mr. Mapp has been eager to get into the fight. Indeed, he has promised that “bombs and missiles” will drop on gubernatorial opponents who turn out to be serious contenders.
So it comes as no surprise, then, that the governor will kick off his campaign earlier than expected — on Friday on St. Croix, followed by a selfsame event in St. Thomas the next day — according to promotions running on air and elsewhere, including this flyer.
For the launch, the governor has enlisted Krossfyah, Barbados’s most recognizable band known ubiquitously in the Caribbean for hits such as Pump Me Up, Wet Me, and Oil Pumpin’. Spectrum Band will join Krossfyah for the St. Croix event, and Poizon Band will join the two groups for the St. Thomas event the day after. The St. Croix event will take place at 7:00 p.m. across from Cost-U-Less and Plaza East; on St. Thomas, the kickoff happens at Lockhart Gardens also at 7:00 p.m.
The governor recently said that while his campaign would highlight his administration’s work to better the territory, he was not coy about his intention to hit his contenders where it hurts.
“We’re letting the others understand that it’s not going to be a cake walk; they’re coming to a real war so don’t come with no BB gun; don’t come with no sling shot [because] it’s missiles and bombs we have,” Mr. Mapp warned last Monday while filing his nomination documents at the Elections System on St. Croix.
“And I don’t want nobody bawling because this is not an easy job; public scrutiny is not easy. All of us who have been in elected office, we’ve been subjected to the public light, and there are a number of folks running for this [the governor’s] office that have not had any public scrutiny in their lives.
“We also tell young folks, when they’re running for political office, if there’s something in your life that you’ve done that you don’t want to ever see on the front page of a newspaper, don’t run for public office.”
The governor said many people refer to digging up unpleasant truths about gubernatorial hopefuls as running a low campaign. However, Mr. Mapp said while his campaign would talk about the successes of his administration’s four-year tenure, the so-called dirt about his opponents would be unearthed and brought to the fore.
“People also need to understand who is running for the office,” Mr. Mapp said. “So this year we want to talk about credit scores because you can’t want to handle billions of people’s dollars and then you can’t handle your few hundreds.”
The governor later told The Consortium that politics “is not a church meeting.” “We’re not serving communion,” he added. He said as governor, he is subjected to abuse by the populace. “Well, if you run for the office, you should not wait until you get into the office to feel some of the abuse. You should feel it on the campaign — we’re just preparing you just in case, right? That’s the kind of fun we have to have,” Mr. Mapp said.
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