By Esther Durand, BVI News Staff
With a quarter-century worth of experience in the public service, businessman and marine enthusiast John Samuel believes he has what it takes to unseat the National Democratic Party’s Alvera Maduro-Caines as the new representative for the Sixth Electoral District.
The 47-year-old was recently named among the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) candidates who will contest the next general election, which is constitutionally due in 2019.
He said the sixth district has been searching for an ‘alternative’ because they are not satisfied with Maduro-Caines.
“I’ve been approached many times by people asking me if I am running and I should run. The difference this year is we (the territory) have been so poorly represented and our resources have been so grossly mismanaged, it has gotten to the point where I can no longer shy away from what would be my social responsibility,” Samuel said.
Samuel said his ‘life experiences’ have suitably prepared and positioned him to represent the BVI locally and abroad.
“I am from the sixth district, grew up in the sixth district, and now offer my services to the sixth.”
Samuel said he is actively working on district plans which he will divulge in the ‘near future’.
He said he hopes to address some of the longtime issues plaguing residents in that area such as crime, water and sewerage, and road infrastructure.
Additionally, the businessman said he is hoping to open doors for the youth, who are constantly found on street corners, to channel their energies through sports and education.
Samuel believes sports tourism can be a key area to diversify the territory’s revenue streams and can create major opportunities for local sportsmen and women.
“I am working to develop a sixth district committee which, along with myself, will dedicate the time and energy to bring competent representation to the district, and to serve the country in a leadership capacity,” he said.
“I have a tremendous vision for this country. I know that many are discouraged and disheartened with the position that we find ourselves in, but with the right choice in leadership, a better and brighter day is coming to the British Virgin Islands,” he said.
Samuel said he intends to finance his own campaign in the lead-up to the election.
The businessman said, if need be, he will extend help to his VIP running mates. He said the party will have an in-depth discussion on the matter. He, however, said VIP election campaigns are usually funded through donations and fundraisers.
Samuel: a father and businessman
Samuel grew up in Belle Vue where he still resides. The divorcee has three daughters and is the owner of The Auto Spot as well as Jocelyn Maritime Training & Consultants.
He is a former public servant who has held positions such as the Director of Shipping at the Virgin Islands Shipping Registry (VISR), and Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications & Works.
Samuel is a certified marine inspector and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Nautical Sciences at the University College of Cape Breton in Canada.
In his spare time, Samuel can be found sailing around the territory’s islands and cays.
‘Political Newcomers’ is a feature from BVI News that brings a closer look at the new faces contesting the upcoming general election.
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