The widow of the late Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson resoundingly thrashed her Barbados Labor Party (BLP) rival in the Jan. 20 by-election to fill the St. John seat vacated by Thompson’s death last October from pancreatic cancer.
The incumbent Democratic Labor Party’s (DLP) Mara Thompson trounced Hudson Griffith, garnering 4, 613 votes, or 89 percent, to Griffith’s 553, or 11 percent, of the 5, 166 votes cast.
“I am happy with the way in which the party threw itself behind me and worked in this by-election,” said Mrs. Thompson, who earned more votes that her late husband, who captured 4, 300 votes in the 2008 general elections.
“And I am happy that as of tomorrow [Jan. 21], I am the chief servant of St. John,” she added.
Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart said the St. Lucia-born Thompson’s victory was a referendum on the DLP’s performance since it assumed office in 2008.
“I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Mara for the conduct of an impressive and high quality campaign,” he said.
“She demonstrated resilience of spirit and strength of character,” he added. “The people of St. John can benefit from those two assets.”
Stuart said the victory was a “thunderous rebuff” of the BLP and its leader, Owen Arthur, a former prime minister, who had invoked xenophobia in the campaign by pointing to Mrs. Thompson’s nationality.
“It was a judgment on the quality of politics which they brought to this campaign and the new depths to which they sunk,” he said.