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Francis elected new Mayor of St George

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Quinell Francis receives a victory hug

Quinell Francis was last night named the new Mayor of St George’s after soundly winning a three-way race for the seat.

Ms Francis won 58 per cent of the vote (278 votes), toppling incumbent Mayor Garth Rothwell, who won 37 per cent (177 votes), and Alfonso Harris, who won five per cent (23 votes).

Ms Francis, who had served as deputy mayor in the build-up to the election, stepped forward as a candidate for the mayorship because she wanted the residential and business community singing from the same page.

She also said she wanted to build on the work of the Corporation over the last few years, moving St George’s forward as a community. Speaking after the announcement, surrounded by supporters and well wishers, she said she was overwhelmed by the victory.

“I’m excited, I’m happy and I’m glad that the voters felt confident enough to make me the next mayor,” she said.

“I’m going to hit the ground running. I’m going to sit with my team, who have already been selected, and we are going to strategise so we can move forward.

“I want to get this marina going. That’s our number one thing.

“We are going to have an agreement soon, we are going to have a town-hall meeting very soon, we are going to have decisions made and we will be ready to go.”

Home Affairs Minister Michael Fahy said he was eager to begin working with Ms Francis, congratulating her on her election.

“There are many exciting upcoming projects in St George’s for which the mayor will be at the helm including a new marina for the town, which will attract new yachts to the area, as well as provide additional facilities for the America’s Cup which should help to stimulate the economy in the east,” Sen Fahy said.

“I have no doubt that the Mayor and the new council will continue to ensure the beautification of St George’s in keeping with UNESCO heritage site standards.”

Mr Rothwell, a resident of Smith’s Island, had hoped to build on the “positive strides” he said had already made during his time as mayor, and had said he wanted to focus on the town’s infrastructure as well as promoting cultural tourism in the East End.

Mr Harris meanwhile had pledged to bring more business to the town and would have backed proposed modifications to Town Cut to allow larger cruise ships.

No elections for the town’s councillors were required in St George’s because only eight people put their name forward for the eight positions.

The business ratepayers councillors will be Philip John Seaman and Faith Meri-Eve Bridges, while the municipal residents councillors will be Anthony Richardson, Calvin Bean, Phillip Anderson, Eakin McLaughlin, Elizabeth Christopher and Jamie Sapsford.

Quinell Francis won the mayoral race by more than 100 votes (Photo by David Skinner)