With the 2023 political season heating up, there has been a shakeup within the National Democratic Party's (NDP) selection of a Seventh District candidate.
Word reaching our newsroom is that Mr Kevon S. Lettsome, who was the front runner to secure the NDP nomination to contest the Seventh District seat, may be weighing his options and reportedly will not run with the NDP.
The NDP, which is a part of the coalition Government and is struggling for candidates, has moved quickly to replace Mr Lettsome. It is alleged that most of the candidates who had committed to the NDP have gone to the Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM) and others have backed out, leaving the NDP short of candidates.
Incumbent Seventh District
Representative, Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Honourable
Natalio D. Wheatley (R7), left, and Perline R. Scatliffe-Leonard are the
confirmed Seventh District candidates.
Lettsome or Estridge?
However, Mr Lettsome is expected to be replaced by St Kitts-born Attorney Renard Vancito Estridge, who works at law firm, Harneys.
Our newsroom has gotten calls to say that Mr Estridge, who came to the Virgin Islands
when he was three years old, was making the rounds in the Seventh District, talking to residents about his interest in running in the 2023 elections. Mr Estridge is a belonger and there are already questions raised about whether he is eligible to run as per section 65 of the Virgin Islands
"Yes, I am the NDP's candidate for the 7th District," Mr Estridge said.
Reports reaching our news centre are that Kevon S. Lettsome will no longer be contesting the Seventh District with the NDP.
Heating up in D7
If Mr Estridge runs he will face incumbent Seventh District Representative Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7), the Premier and Minister of Finance of the Virgin Islands
Party; and Independent candidate Mrs Perline R. Scatliffe-Leonard, who launched her candidacy on Saturday, February 25, 2023.
It is unclear if PVIM or Progressives United (PU) will have a candidate in the Seventh District.