Gbarnga — Former Bong County superintendent Dr. Ranney Jackson has declared his interest to run as a Senator in 2023.
Dr. Jackson made the declaration on Saturday while addressing supporters in Gbarnga upon his return from the United States of America.
“I have come to inform you of my intention to contest the 2023 senatorial race in Bong County,” Dr. Jackson said.
Dr. Jackson will be contesting the Senate race for a record fourth time, having contested 2005, 2011, and 2014 elections, losing on all of those occasions.
His best finish was 2011 when he lost to Henry Yallah by over 700 votes, accumulating over 27, 000 votes.
Under Jackson’s watch as superintendent, Bong County recorded a lot of developments, including the fencing of the David Kuyon Sports stadium, renovation of the presidential compound, rehabilitation of the superintendent’s compound, and the provision of electricity in Gbarnga, among others.
His supporters think Jackson remains the most prepared for the Senate seat considering his experience in party politics at the county level.
Were the race to be a senator of Bong County a free gift Jackson would be easily crowned because of his rich credentials.
Jackson’s ambition, however, hinges on whether his brother-in-law Tokpa will seek re-election. According to many, negotiations are underway for Tokpa to back off for Jackson, but it’s not clear whether Tokpa has caved in to allow Jackson to contest.
As one of the oldest aspirants in the race, Jackson’s influence and popularity would be brought to bear as he would not need an introduction to the electorates. Political observers say Jackson is not too close to the grassroots in the county, a major factor that led to all his defeats during the time he contested.
Dr. Jackson, a former legislator in the National Transitional Legislative Assembly (NTLA), told FrontPageAfrica:
“When I, along with my Committee on Post and Telecommunication, was able to break the monopoly on the cellphone industry,” he added.
Continuing, he said: “Now today, we have many cellphone companies and different denominations of payments for minutes instead of a $15.00 USD payment for phone cards. I was able to suggest that for the first election in 2005, two representative seats be given to each county before we go by population, for fear that without such policy, Montserrado could get all of the seats since almost the entire population was in Monrovia. Still Montserrado got 17 seats while some counties got only two seats. Our country needs a strong legislature if our country will need to move forward.”
Jackson’s declaration brings to nine the number of candidates who have announced their intentions to contest.
As at press time there were eight persons who have shown interest, including District Five lawmaker Edward Karfiah of the People’s Unification Party (PUP), former Bong County Senator Henry Yallah of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), former Agriculture Minister Dr. Mogana Flomo, former president of the Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY) and a member of the opposition All Liberian Party (ALP), Mohammed Nasser, the former ruling Unity Party (UP), and business man Johnny Kpehe, Amos Barbu, of the National Patriotic Party, and
Factors that will determine the winner of next year’s election will include the aspirant’s personality and acceptability, party strength, support of a critical segment of the population in Bong County, and the aspirant’s financial capability. In no particular order, here’s a brief about how residents of Bong County have accepted the news of these aspirants’ ambitions.