Newly appointed Seventh District Representative, Dr. Natalio Sowande Wheatley said that he would like to see his predecessor Dr. Kedrick Pickering honored for his years of service to the community.
The unseating of Dr. Pickering – an independent and incumbent who has held the seat for 20 years – is being labeled as one of the upsets of the 2019 general elections (384 for Wheatley, 338 for Pickering). Wheatley said that he has great respect for the former representative.
Wheatley – who contested under the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) banner – attributes his victory to his community activism over the years. In an interview with members of the media on Monday night he said: “All of the hard work has paid off; all of the countless hours of being on the radio helping to educate persons and having a dialogue about the issues; being involved in all the different community groups and all the things that I have done finally paid off.”
In referring to Dr. Pickering Wheatley said: “I would really like to see him honored for his service.”
The new Seventh District Representative spoke fondly of Dr. Pickering and referred to him as a statesman. “He definitely was a giant, he definitely was a statesman. He has represented the BVI so well on the international stage. He was able to get a lot done, even when he was in the opposition. Getting the heritage project done…he has some good things that he has done in the District, and he has been there for 20 years that is not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination.”
Dr. Wheatley further said that he is hoping to work with the former representative on various District related matters: “I will be seeking his advice and guidance on certain matters. He is someone with experience, someone who I see I can learn a lot from. I adore him, I adore his family.”
The VIP winner said that he is pleased with the manner the campaign took place and said that this is an experience that both him and Dr. Pickering can refer to as a respectful undertaking: “I am proud of the fact that we did not have a campaign where we were slinging mud; that I could hold my head up high, he can hold his head up high and know that we campaigned based on ideas and based on what we felt was good for the Territory.”
“This time around he came up short, but he was victorious so many times before. I have known the agony of defeat, this is the first time he is tasting it so I can imagine what he must feel like,” Dr. Wheatley added.