Peyrefitte said people who wore his shirt did not vote for him
Michael Peyrefitte’s ground campaign did not work in his favor. He had placed his campaign in the hands of incumbent, Anthony “Boots” Martinez. Peyrefitte spoke to the media when the chairman announced Willoughby was the winner. Peyrefitte said it was obvious that some of the people who wore his UDP shirts did not vote for him.
Michael Perryfiete: “I honestly felt that they would vote for me. I was mistaken obviously but I felt good going into the count. It was not until we started to count that I realized that it was not going to be a good night. I think it was obvious that the machinery that we had was superior as we had said before visibly it looks good. If it went trust on looks before it started to count I would say I would have have won but obviously those people who had on my shirts and majority of them did not vote for me. Well you had the National Security Minster, you had the Minister of Education as well, you have a lot of people who were working on the other side as well who are formidable political forces as well so there are no excuses. You ran a race, some people would say too many PUP’s voted, some people will say this, some people will say that but that’s not what I am about. The votes were casted and we felt good going in and when the votes were counted he was victorious so he is to be congratulated. I kept saying to the media over and over because I genuinely meant it that we have to see what happen here today first. How can you even talk about that or think about that until you have won the nomination for your party to represent the constituency so I never thought beyond this day to be honest to you so I always knew that if I won on this day I would have to contemplate what a lot of people wanted for me but I also maintain every time that I would not even contemplate that until we got through to it.”
Peyrefitte said that there is enough work at the Attorney General’s office to keep him busy.
Boots Blame PUP for Loss in UDP Convention
This morning Anthony Martinez held a press conference at his office. Rather than accept that the combined strategy of the Minister of National Security and the Minister of Education worked in favor of Phillip Willoughby, Martinez blamed Peyrefitte’s loss solely on the Peoples United Party.
Anthony Martinez: “Brief synopsis of it that I say that hmph the PUP neva mih di joke with we. Just a brief synopsis because if you notice they gold and they pink and there right off on a brief synopsis with me. It gave me some indication that there was trouble. It was the difference in terms of winning and losing was that the People’s United Party involvement, it was supposed to be a convention from the supporters as the United Democratic Party but low and behold only to find out that the strike off list that was never honored by the party. As four time representative I am sure that out of 4000 list that there can’t be that everybody is UDP and that show you. You see these list was prepared by us here and these same lists here are list that the secretariat have access to from August so when you are looking at the list here this one is pledging the phone number and everything and if you look on what indeed to be the strike off list. The strike off list from here, those PUP didn’t miss yesterday they didn’t miss, it was narrowed down to 91 and even that didn’t work including yesterday. There were campaigners from UDP who for Mr. Usher out there street to street with list, case in point. I’m not afraid to call no name: Rita Anderson on the list, Rita Matura on the list, Wendy Cartivo, Cleaton Novelo. They are active campaigners and not only active campaigns they are voting in the convention.”
Martinez says that the UDP allowed PUP supporters to vote and the party ignored his list which would have rejected 91 PUP supporters from voting in the UPD Port Loyola Convention.
The UDP's convention season began with a bang yesterday in Port Loyola and Cayo Northeast. With respect to Cayo where two mayors and one former area rep had a very hotly contested battle - the real war was in Port Loyola where rival camps of UDP superpowers deployed the political equivalent of nuclear warheads to get their candidate elected. The convention may have been for Port Loyola - but the future leadership of the party is what was really at stake. Jules Vasquez was there to see who won the convention and the bigger battle for control of the UDP's future:...
Jules Vasquez reporting
On the flat paper it seemed simple enough - one division, four names. But, not that simple on the ground at St. John Vianney where large ambitions were clashing for control not of this division - but, really, of the UDP's future.
Philip Willoughby gave us the thumbs up on the move, while Mike Peyrefitte seemed his usual demonstrative self.
While he held forth at the entrance to the compound.
Hon. Mike Peyrefitte, Aspirant - Port Loyola "You know what you have to do. You have to put in the work, make the preparations and then execute it. We have done that. So its just a matter of hoping that the people who we've made arrangements for vote for us."
Phillip Willoughby, UDP Aspirant - Port "I believe we sit comfortable and we brought out our numbers in that early rush this morning."
There was a steady stream of voters - and indeed there would be two thousand of them by days end.
Area Representative Anthony Boots Martinez was busy working the lines. The self-styled ground commander in his element - working for Michael Peyreffite.
But some we spoke to feel it's time for these Boots to walk out of Port Loyola:
Jules Vasquez, reporter "We know that Boots Martinez has said he is fully invested in you and he is working for you. Is that to your advantage today?"
Hon. Mike Peyreffite, Aspirant - Port Loyola "Yes, I think so."
Jules Vasquez, reporter "However, you know that Mr. Martinez has hemorrhage 2000 votes in 6 years."
Hon. Mike Peyreffite, Aspirant - Port Loyola "Yes."
Jules Vasquez, reporter "So, do you feel that there will be any push back from voters, because of anti-boots sentiment?"
Hon. Mike Peyreffite, Aspirant - Port Loyola "We will find out Jules."
Indeed, a day like this answers all questions - and for underdog Dean Samuels, the writing was already on the wall:
Dean Samuels, UDP Aspirant "We could get who want elect for our convention, but that doesn't mean at the end of the day people like what we do. It's still a way you could say we stuff people down people's throat. But the reality is on the ground where I campaign everybody will tell you they don't want Mike. Out here today you could see a lot of Mike shirt. You tell me Jules."
Indeed, larger forces at work - and that was clear in the alliances:
Jules Vasquez, reporter "Are you concern just as a rival Mr. Willoughby might out work you today?"
Hon. Mike Peyrefitte, Aspirant - Port Loyola "Well, it's not him. He has 2 major ministers backing him. One in particular with the largest government budget. I have one minister backing me. So I mean he has twice the supposed firepower that I have. So I don't think that what you see here is from him. What you see here is from the 2 ministers. If that enables him to get more votes than me, then more power to him."
Jules Vasquez, reporter "Is it that you got them so scared that the 2 men who are rivals and they have their own issues - yet they come together just to block your ascendancy."
Hon. Mike Peyrefitte, Aspirant - Port Loyola "Well, I don't know ascendancy to what. I don't know why they would be so interested in Port, but lets just say that I should be nominated for the Nobel peace prize, who would have thought that Patrick and John would be so much in love. I am honored and humbles by it that they believe that it takes 2 of them to beat me."
Jules Vasquez, reporter "Patrick Faber and John Saldivar are known to be rivals and because of them there is a lot of animosity between them. But they join forces behind you. Explain to me how is it that you brought together these warring faction?"
Phillip Willoughby, UDP Aspirant - Port "At the end of the day everybody knows that John and Patrick are long standing friends. Yes, both men are aspiring for leadership, but so what. Set aside differences and everybody has the right to choose their candidate of choice."
And while that tag team of party powers for Willoughby stayed mostly in the background, we did see Boots Martinez moving with alacrity along with Queen Square's Denise Barrow - both pulling for Peyrefitte.
But half an hour after polls closed at 5:00, we saw Martinez beating a hasty, and surprisingly early retreat. He told us Phillip Willoughby had won.
Mix that with the fact that Patrick Faber was sitting in the compound, confidently waiting it out. With what we overheard from the counting room - by 6:00 pm - the trend became clear. He had won comfortably - and with the ballot boxes finished counting and being returned for secure storage
Mike Peyreffitte hugged his supporters and conceded:
Jules Vasquez, reporter "Mike, its over. What are your impressions as the votes are counted and Phillip Willoughby has won?"
Hon. Michael Peyreffite, Finished Second in Polling "Well that's just it. We've lost. Whatever they were doing was felt better by the people than what we were doing and he won. Congratulations to him! And the people have spoken. There are no excuses. We run a race. Some people would say too many PUPs voted. Some people would say this, some people would say that, but that's not what I am about. It's disappointed. I wanted to win. But there is lots of work in the attorney general's ministry to do and I'll get to it tomorrow morning and focus just on that."
Jules Vasquez, reporter "if you come out here as a n objective observer, you would say Mike Peyrefitte would win. You were the most visible candidate. Did you have a sense however that people was running a game on you - that people were wearing your shirt and voted for Phil?"
Hon. Michael Peyreffite, Finished Second in Polling "No, I honestly felt that they would vote for me. I was mistaken obviously. But I did. I felt good going into the count. It was not that we started to count that I realize that it was not going to be good night."
Jules Vasquez, reporter "Is this an end to whatever ideations your sponsors had for you that Mike Peyrefitte could lead the UDP out of the wilderness after the departure of Dean Barrow. Is that over?"
Hon. Michael Peyreffite, Finished Second in Polling "None of my sponsors told me that that was the plan. I always knew that if I had won on this day, I would have to contemplate what a lot of people wanted for me. But I also maintained every time that I would not even contemplate that until we got through today."
Jules Vasquez, reporter "Is your attorney generalship or your seat in the senate now in question you are political dead, you are not viable politically?"
Hon. Michael Peyreffite, Finished Second in Polling "You like to say lame duck or politically dead. I don't know. I serve in the senate and as attorney general at the pleasure of the prime minister. That's a question for him."
And while Peyreffite walked out alone, for Willoughby - it was the sweet reward of the victor's embrace - first from supporters and then from his Cabinet supporters - rivals John Saldivar and Patrick Faber.
Jules Vasquez, reporter "Explain that potent symbolism of you John Saldivar and Phillip Willoughby hugging up? What's up with that?"
Hon. Patrick Faber, UDP Deputy Leader "Well as I've said in a previous interview, both my colleague and my friend Hon. John Saldivar and I knows good talent for this party when we see it and so we obviously coincided on Phillip Willoughby."
Philip Willoughby, UDP - Std. Bearer - Port "I will work my endeavor best hard with all my heart every day to try and reach out to the people of Port Loyola and beyond."
Philip Willoughby, UDP - Std. Bearer - Port "Despite what people would have said about the Albert situation, about the mayoral situation, I probably felt that God was preparing me for something even greater and here I am elected to serve the people of Port."
Jules Vasquez, reporter "Do you feel that a lot of voters who seem to be out here for Mike - that you stole them, either some means or the other, but you ended up getting those votes from a lot of people who had on Mike Peyrefitte shirts?"
Philip Willoughby, UDP - Std. Bearer - Port "I stole their love and they took my heart."
A political love story - if you believe in that kind of stuff - but we'll have to wait and see if this one has a happy ending - because the last one in this area didn't.
2,093 persons came out to vote - that's 51.5% of the registered voters. Michael Peyreffite got 847 votes while Willoughby got 1034 votes - a margin of 187 votes.
Dean Samuels got 144 votes, and AC Castillo got 33.