By Carlena Knight
Tevaughn ‘Peter Reds’ Harriette – the newly named United Progressive Party (UPP) candidate for St Peter – has revealed his initial hesitation of stepping into the political arena.
Harriette, who hails from Parham, is better known for his skills on the football field having led the Parham Football Club to a number of championships in the Antigua Premier League (APL), the top tier of local football. He has also represented Antigua and Barbuda on the national level.
The 25-year old told Observer the journey had been surreal thus far. He recalled the day he was telephoned by the UPP regarding representing the party.
“At first when they called me, I thought they had the wrong number,” he joked, speaking on the Good Morning JoJo sports show on Monday.
“They asked me if I am interested in running so I looked at the phone like ‘this guy serious, he knows who he is really calling?’ I took some time to think about it and then eventually I decided to step up to the plate.”
He shared that he first told his brother about the decision and then his mother. After some convincing, his mother came on board to support him.
It was a similar reaction for his close friends who he says stood behind him from the beginning.
Harriette beat fellow candidates Colin Isaac and Chaneil Jackson-Imhoff at the St Peter primary earlier this month. He admitted that he was sceptical of his chances in an area which he knows is a very ABLP-dominated community but, after winning convincingly and now speaking with local residents there, he believes he has a good chance of defeating long-standing incumbent MP Asot Michael.
Harriette says he is confident that, thanks to his strong ties to the area especially with the youth, that he will put up a good fight in the next general elections.
“The chances for me are high because over the past elections, to be fair to everyone on the UPP side, nobody has really made a challenge in the St Peter side,” he said.
The footballer said Michael is aware of the backing Harriette has “not only in Parham but the whole constituency”.
“Everyone knows the young people are on my side and with the older folks now they will come in time. You have to go and meet them over and over, state your plans to them, state your ideas and they will come in time.
“Also, there is a lot of them that are red, that come to me daily and let me know, listen baller I am not going to be involved in the UPP thing. They don’t want it to be known but the support is there,” he said.
Harriette continued that it would be an intense feeling to see his face and name on billboards leading up to the elections and even joked about his first photoshoot with the UPP where they unveiled him as the candidate.
“This is when it really hit me, like Reds you really in this thing. I can’t even imagine seeing myself on a billboard. It’s all surreal really but I am going to give it my all,” he vowed.
Win or lose, Harriette vowed to work towards improved healthcare and educational opportunities for local youths.