Declaring his bid to run as an independent candidate in the North Abaco by-elections, Cay Mills shared what he called a “flawed” and “unfair process” undertaken by the Free National Movement (FNM) in selecting their candidate.
According to Mr. Mills the process of selecting the FNM’s candidate for North Abaco began with Perry Thomas, Jackson McIntosh and himself, with John Swain being considered at one point before withdrawing himself from the race. After seven weeks of waiting, which he said was supposed to have been two; Greg Gomez’s name was added to the list.
“I received a call from Greg Gomez saying that his name had been put in the hat,” Mr. Mills said. “I said how can that be? The process is already finished; the due date of the candidates submitting their names had passed. I could not support this.”
He said he had agreed with those seeking the nomination that whoever won, they would all support, “but it has to be fair because the FNM is the party that campaigned on Truth and Trust.”
He recalled two times that Hubert Ingraham came to bid farewell to his constituents and proclaimed that Abaconians would pick the nominee and that he would support whomever Abaco sends. According to Mr. Mills, Mr. Ingraham said “nobody from Nassau picked him, Abaco picked him and Abaco would pick their next representative.”
He said “how can Abaco pick the nominee when there is nobody on the board [that is] from Abaco? Neither has anyone from the committee come to ask the people of Abaco to find out who they would like.”
He said at the beginning of July they went to Nassau and Mr. Gomez was selected, and then had to recant and postpone because he was ineligible having not lived in The Bahamas the requisite year after having lived internationally.
He said it was “a slap in the face of all Bahamians” when Mr. Ingraham said he would “hold the whole country hostage” by delaying his resignation until August 31 to enable Greg Gomez to be eligible. “And right then we knew the process was not fair,” he said.
He added that before the vote that the leader of the FNM, Hubert Minnis, called him offering a senatorial position. He asked “How can you offer me that position when we haven’t even voted yet. He said it looked like everyone is leaning toward Greg Gomez. But I said the democratic process should not be flawed – how could you even call me before the vote?”
He said that whoever wins this election, if it’s not him, “neither one of them have ever spoken on behalf of Abaco, or put their hand in their pocket to do anything for anybody, and neither has been on the stage in the forefront advocating and agitating for Abaco or it’s people’s needs.”
He said his goals are to get youth programs going, particularly in athletics as this can “give our kids an opportunity through their athletic abilities to secure a scholarship to go to college.” He said “My main goal is to help parents and these kids to be able to move forward.”
Mr. Mills said he would like to pioneer a new kind of Minister of Parliament; one that will go district to district and “not think what they want, but to go sit down with the people of each district and ask. This should have been done a long time ago. That is being a Member of Parliament; that is caring for your people. That is the new type of leadership I want to bring to Abaco.”
He criticized the former Prime Minister for not listening to the needs of the people and used the example that he paved roads in Cooper’s Town, which is fine, but neglected the roads in Marsh Harbour which he felt should have been dealt with a long time ago
“We haven’t had $100,000 dollars spent on our roads in how long? Over twenty years – that’s not right,” he said. “When I hear they spending $100’s of millions on the roads in Nassau – we are being disrespected and we are not being represented.”
He said he spoke with Mr. Ingraham on August 2 asking him how it could be that the FNM are canvasing and asking people to vote for the a person they picked knowing the first question people are going to ask is “who is he?”
How can you go into a serious election and the people don’t know who they voting for?
He said Abaconians have to have somebody that they can be proud of, “a person that is visionary and purpose driven and has been speaking on behalf of Abaco while he’s in Nassau.”
“I’m always speaking on behalf of Abaco,” he said.