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Randall Mitchell

“I wish him well.”

That was incumbent PNM San Fernando East MP Randall Mitchell’s comment yesterday after Brian Manning—son of Mitchell’s predecessor- announced he was seeking candidacy for San Fernando East.

The T&T Guardian exclusively reported that Manning submitted to the constituency executive a letter of consent for nomination for the seat. His father, former prime minister Patrick Manning had held the seat since 1971 until 2015 when Mitchell was chosen by the PNM to replace him. Brian Manning said he was raised and nur­tured in San Fer­nan­do East where he learned the val­ue of courage, re­silience and wis­dom. “I be­lieve the time has come for me to give back,” he’d said.

Contacted by Guardian Media, Mitchell said he has also filed a consent letter to be nominated for candidacy. The letter dated March 2, was accompanied by his resume.

Asked his view on Manning’s bid, Mitchell said, “I’ve seen a report in the local media indicating that Brian is also seeking nomination and I wish him well.”

He added: “The screening process carried out by the PNM for prospective candidates seeking selection to stand for general election is one that is rigorous, thorough, and fair, where each candidate will be screened and judged on his or her own merits. “

“I have full confidence in the PNM’s screening process. I look forward to it, and I continue to serve and hold as paramount the best interest of the constituents of San Fernando East. As I always say my constituents: I am and will always be one of you, serving you.”

In his documents to the executive, Mitchell said his mission is the contiuous development of all the communities comprising the constituency through developing all of its assets. “

Mitchell, an attorney, was nominated by the constituency to replace Manning’s father in 2015. The elder Manning had considered contesting for 2015 elections, but with some tensions in the party hierarchy on the issue, he eventually decided against it. The former PM died in 2016.

While Manning was asked by some constituents to contest, Mitchell in his CV stated he was a “confident, articulate multifaceted politician who is well respected by the electorate in my constituencey and by my peers.” He said he has continued to reside in the constituency.