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Oct 8, 2015

Tracy Taegar-Panton on the Campaign Trail

The Albert Division for decades was dominated by Phillip Goldson, it would eventually turn blue in 1998, 2003 and 2008 and then in the last general elections in 2012, it went to the United Democratic Party. This election is being hotly contested between two aspirants, who have worked the area under the blue tent. Paul Thompson remains with the P.U.P.; Tracy Taeger Panton represents the U.D.P.  They go head to head this November fourth. This morning, we sat with Panton who laid out her plans for the Albert.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

In the Albert Division, two friends who are now aspiring to electoral office will go up against each other under the blue and red banners. Belize Basketball Federation President, Paul Thompson for the P.U.P. and former Tourism C.E.O., Tracy Taeger Panton for the U.D.P. will face off on November 4.   Both have worked together under former area rep, Mark Espat, as commanders in the division for the P.U.P.  In a one-on-one with Panton today, she spoke of what she brings to the table.

 

Tracy Taeger Panton

Tracy Taeger Panton, U.D.P. Candidate, Albert Division

“I have a proven track record in terms of my leadership skills, in terms of my management skills and you can just look at my track record in tourism. I am also very passionate about people and very passionate about this country and I know that I’ve always led and I’ve always made decisions based on what is best for the people. And so I certainly bring a level of compassion that I think will really help me to make that connection with the voter and make that connection with the community.”

 

Duane Moody

“Now we all know that it is no flook that you are here in Alberts. Talk to us about that; we understand you grew up here.”

 

Tracy Taeger Panton

“So I moved into the Albert Division, actually when I was five years old. Right here at this very location is where I spent all my childhood years, all my teenager years, all my young adult years in the division. So for me, the Albert constituency is home. I have always worked in this community; I’ve always worked in this constituency—both in my professional life and outside of my professional life. a lot of community service here so it is really with a sense of deep pride that I represent this community and this constituency. Quality of life is first and foremost on the agenda. And when I say that; education, housing, job opportunities is really where we want to focus our attention in the first instance. And then there are also some infrastructural needs. As you know it is a land lock division and so there are very little areas to develop like green spaces for recreation. And care for the elderly is important. We have a large elderly community in the division and also focusing on our youth because they are our future.”

 

As one of the four women that will be contesting the polls this general election, Panton spoke about getting into electoral politics, an area that for years has been dominated primarily by men.

 

Tracy Taeger Panton

“Electoral politics I think for me was the next step. I have served in the public service and in tourism for just about thirty years and so I thought that it was really time for me to come home and back into the community to serve the people of the Albert division.”

 

The division was blue, but that trend was broken in 2008. Panton spoke of her strategy that will be employed by her machinery.

 

Tracy Taeger Panton

“Immediately after my candidacy was announced, the strategy was very simple and it continues to be a very simply strategy. It is about making a personal connection with each potential voter in the Albert division, establishing that relationship. And so first and foremost that they know that they have complete access to me as their area representative. We have three polling areas in the division and we have a team in each polling area. The team is a blend of people who have worked in electoral politics in Albert for a long period of time from both political camps. So I feel very strong that the team will be able to deliver on November fourth.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

 

We will have a look at Thompson’s campaign in the days to come. 

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