Jamaican vying for Connecticut senate seat

Dr Ann-Marie Adams

Jamaican American Dr Ann-Marie Adams is to run for office to represent Connecticut under the banner of the Democratic Party in the 2018 election for the Senate in the United States.

“I’m really excited about being recruited to run for office because, if you check from Canada to Miami, you’ll find that there are no black immigrants in office, except for New York or Miami, in the Florida area; and very few Jamaican Americans are in politics. There are none in Connecticut,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

“At first I was hesitant, because I am used to covering politicians, not running for office. I didn’t think about it, it didn’t dawn on me to run for office until they were doing a background check for a media pass for the White House,” Adams, a journalist, pointed out. “So after two years of looking at my credentials and my accomplishments over the last two decades, I’m very, very confident that I have a good chance to run and win.”

Born and raised in Jamaica, Adams emigrated to the US after completing her secondary education at St Hugh’s High School for Girls. She moved to Hartford in the state where she furthered her education at Brooklyn College.

“It was joyful for me growing up in Jamaica. I also grew up in Spanish Town, St Catherine, off Walks Road. I went to St John’s Primary. Growing up in Jamaica meant a lot, that’s why I come back as often as I can. And I wanted to start my campaign here, meeting with well-wishers from school and people I really know,” Adams, who also lived in Kingston 5, said.

“My education was sound here, so I’m very grateful for that, especially at St John’s, where they put me into spelling bee, and speech festival, and Girl Guides-and all of that was a joyous experience. I recognise that I had a privileged experience growing up here and going to St Hugh’s, so I wanted to give back in some sort of way,” she continued.

Though she migrated aeons ago, Adams emphasised her love for Jamaica and noted that her hope is to encourage other Jamaicans and Caribbean nationals to run for office. Pointing out that Connecticut has the third-largest West Indian population in the US, Adams cited her similarities with what she described as a marginalized group.

“Connecticut’s congressional delegation is largely white and male. Now they’re looking to diversify that…hence people have recruited me. The impact you will have is that you will have someone like me representing more Connecticut residents because of my ethnic background — I’m Irish and Spanish. My married name is what I’m using but my maiden name is Mesquito. That’s from Honduras, my father’s ethnic background, so people are seeing me representing more Connecticut residents,” she said.

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