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Candidates clash in fourth National debate

A showdown on the national stage: West Bay South candidates Tara Rivers and John Jefferson, Jr. set off fireworks as the two sparred over each other’s records in last night’s debate.

The two took the gloves off early, set off by a question about gangs in schools. Mr. Jefferson and Ms. Rivers also locked horns over work permit revenue, with Ms. Rivers fact checking her opponent on the fly.

“I would dare say probably 2000 Caymanians are still sitting on the sidelines that can’t find a job,” said Mr. Jefferson.

“It’s very dangerous when we throw facts out that can’t be substantiated because the current labor survey says there is about 1400 people that are estimated to be unemployed,” returned Ms. Rivers.

“The number one thing we need to do is elect some fresh faces,” said Independent West Bay North candidate Mervin Smith, who got the audience involved with the applause line of the night.

Independents Katherine Ebanks-Wilks of West Bay Central and Paul Rivers of West Bay North echoing the call for term limits, and by extension, fresh blood in the LA.

“We do need to steer away from these extended terms to get new ideas,” said Ms. Ebanks-Wilks.

“We have career politicians for decades that have manipulated the system and its people,” said Mr. Rivers.

“That’s why we have social engineering in this country, because some individuals have absolutely established themselves on government stipends, and you can see what we got of that now,” said Mr. Smith.

National debates continue next week Monday, featuring candidates from within the George Town constituencies.

About the author

Joe Avary

Joe Avary

Joe Avary has been with Cayman 27 since 2014. He brings 20 years in television experience to the job, working hard every day to bring the people of Cayman stories that inform the public and make a difference in the community. Joe hopes his love for the Cayman Islands shines through in his informative and entertaining weather reports. If you have a story idea for Joe or just want to say hello, call him at 324-2141 or send an email to

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