Harris upbeat after withdrawing from mayoral race
St George’s mayoral contender Alfonso Harris is upbeat about his decision to drop out and leave the race unopposed for fellow candidate Garth Rothwell.
“It’s not a race any more, so Garth can get down to business,” the 50-year-old proprietor of Churchill’s, a cigar and wine shop in the Old Town, told
The Royal Gazette.
“I called him and told him my intentions and he thanked me for it. It’s time for us to get busy. I didn’t want to disrupt that.”
Mr Harris, who served as Common Councillor on the Corporation of St George’s from 2009 to 2012, said he hadn’t ruled out the possibility of throwing his hat into the political ring again.
“Possibly,” he mused. “I will always do my best for St George’s. If I can assist in any way to make it better, I will.”
Last night he maintained his solid support for Mr Rothwell, currently Deputy Mayor, who is set to take the helm at the January 21 municipal elections.
“Garth’s been in the trenches a long time, he knows what’s happening, he knows the issues that are pertinent to St George’s, he’s got good relationships with the new MPs for this area. I’ve worked with him in the Corporation before. Our businesses are right across the street from one another.”
Mr Rothwell is the co-owner of Robertson’s Drugstore.
Big issues for the East End, he said, are a possible marina under discussion for St George’s, and “talks with the cruise ship companies”.
“I didn’t want to slow up the momentum, especially as far as that goes. Before you know it, the season will be here.”
Reversing the neglect of the Old Town could also start on a small scale, he said.
“St George’s has all types of assets that are not being used,” said Mr Harris, listing off a few: “The golf course is closed. There’s the beach club up by St Catherine’s.
“The Unfinished Church is falling apart and still closed to the public. Gunpowder Cavern is closed. Those are things that are right there that we can work on.”
He spoke candidly of the economic recession’s impact.
“I feel a little more positive about business in St George’s. People here have good feelings for the New Year. We’ll have to see. It can’t get much worse.”
Mr Harris ran unsuccessfully for Common Councillor in the 2006 elections, and took his place in the Corporation in 2009. He lost out in the elections of May, 2012.
After informing the Registrar’s office on Friday of his decision to drop out of the latest race, Mr Harris cited “personal reasons”.
Pressed for details, he said: “Well, there was a bunch of things. But I personally just want to see St George’s do better.”
He added: “I ran for mayor against Kenny Bascome in 2012 and I lost. I’m used to running and I’m used to losing. I got more experience out of it, I try to keep attention on St George’s, and when you start to get involved, other people tend to notice and get involved as well.”