Former senator and educator, Kurt Vialet. By ERNICE GILBERT/ V.I. CONSORTIUM
Governor Albert Bryan had nothing but praises for former Senator Kurt Vialet during an interview with the Consortium last week, stating that Mr. Vialet remains an asset to the Virgin Islands and that he hopes the former educator and lawmaker stays in the territory.
The two men went head to head during the 2022 general election, exchanging jabs throughout the campaign season. Mr. Bryan would go on to win the generally election by a solid margin, and Mr. Vialet's term in the Senate came to an end.
The governor joked about Mr. Vialet's exit from the Senate, bursting into song during the interview, "I can see clearly now the rain is gone," a reference to what the governor believes was Mr. Vialet's obstruction of his initiatives during Mr. Bryan's first term in office.
On a more serious note, Mr. Bryan praised the senator. "I like Kurt. I think the one thing you would see in my administration, I don't throw away anybody who is quality. I mean even if you don't support me," Mr. Bryan said.
Asked whether he would hire Mr. Vialet to work in his administration, the governor said, "I would hire him, I would give Kurt a job. Why not? I think he is really skilled. I think he is very skilled. He is a smart dude. I mean we don't always agree politically but I would never tell anybody he's a stupid person. He is a very accomplished guy," the governor said.
He gave the former lawmaker high marks as an educator. "I used to go to Complex stuff and he was always there," Mr. Bryan continued, referring to activities at the St. Croix Educational Complex High School, where Mr. Vialet spent most of his years as an educator. "I think he was a great principal, I think he's well researched; he does a good job in the Legislature when he was there. I mean the election's done. I don't want to see him leave the Virgin Islands, I think he has an important role to play and I would encourage him to be more active in the community, maybe do some nonprofits, start his own business, serve on some of these boards, and see a broader view of the Virgin Islands — which I'm sure he saw while he was on the campaign trail. I wish him luck," Mr. Bryan said.
Mr. Vialet, now retired, has been on talk shows speaking on issues affecting the community, and has said he plans on being an active voice in the USVI in an effort to hold government to account.