“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.

Reporter: Gail Alexander