In an aggressive campaign, which at times threatened to become unpleasant, Senator Pennelope Beckles triumphed over Laventille East/Morvant MP, Donna Cox for the post of Lady Vice-Chairman of the People's National Movement (PNM).
Beckles, who two years ago, had lost the chairman to Franklin Khan, was in the winner's row on this occasion with a comfortable margin of victory—356 votes against Cox's 239.
Speaking to the Express after the results were announced, Beckles said she was happy about her victory.
"I think it is important to the party because the democratic process is alive and well. People participated. It will certainly motivate and encourage me to continue, especially after I lost the chairmanship (in 2010) by three votes, to win by this margin. It is a very humbling experience. And I want to say thanks to all those who came out and supported me".
Asked about the campaign, Beckles said this was not the first election the party held.
"Somebody loses and somebody wins, once you are committed. I have lost (party elections) before and I have not been accepted as a candidate (by the leadership in a general election), but that has never stopped me from proceeding to work with the party and its leadership because at the end of the day, you understand that you cannot always win".
Beckles stressed that all members, whether they win or lose, had to focus on the objective, and on being part of the party, the process and the vision. She said she was looking forward to been part of the leadership which would take the party forward.
"We have a THA (Tobago House of Assembly) election, a local government election next year and a general election to follow. And there are so many issues before the country in which the Opposition has to be focused and to keep educating the people. So we have a lot of work to do," she said.
Asked whether Cox had congratulated her, she said: "Not as yet. But I am sure I would be (congratulated by her)".
Cox, the incumbent, was perceived to have enjoyed the support of the Political Leader Dr Keith Rowley and had advertised during prime time television during the campaign for the key post.
Cox updated her blackberry messenger (BBM) status as her fortunes and feelings appeared to change during the course of the day.
Her BBM post at 7.11 a.m. was: "Continue to the next level". But by 5.36 p.m.(when the results were known) it changed to : "God does not sleep". And by 7.07 p.m. it simply stated: "Thank U Lord!". Attempts to get Cox by telephone were unsuccessful.
Former government minister Conrad Enill was defeated in his bid to get on the PNM Executive, losing the contest for the post of Education Officer to Anthony Garcia, who received 352 votes against Enill's 248.
Enill said he wanted to congratulate Garcia.
"Congratulations to the gentleman. I think he would do an excellent job and I would help him."
Asked how he felt about his lost, Enill, a former chairman of the party, said he knew that going into this race, he knew that losing would be a possibility "because of where we are in terms of legacy issues".
Former Public Services Association president Jennifer Baptiste-Primus ran way with victory with 419 votes against Andrew Alves, who got 186, for the position of Labour Relations Officer. Foster Cummings won against incumbent Linus Rogers for the position of Election Officer with 315 to 283.
And Laventille West MP Nileung Hypolite beat three challengers (who included former minister Neil Parsanlal) for the post of Youth Officer Male gaining 214 just edging Parsanlal's 206.
Tobagonian Yolanda George-Reid got 377 beat her opponent Onika Myers-Haynes with 219 for post of Youth Officer Female.