ST.CROIX– The residents of St. Croix came out in droves to support Sen. Alicia “Chucky” Hansen’s campaign party kickoff on Saturday, Oct. 4 at the Canegata Ballpark despite the senator’s recent tax evasion conviction and controversial rape comment.
The bass of the music could be felt radiating through your body as you came closer to the gates of the ballpark, with incomers swaying and moving their bodies to the beat.
Hansen was convicted in 2009 of three counts of failure to file tax returns, after a long investigation related to improper influence and public corruption in the handling of a government sewer contract, according to the “Hansen’s Criminal Convictions No Bar to Candidacy” article in the St. Croix Source. Also, in 2013 the senator found herself featured in the prestigious African American magazine, Ebony when she made a controversial statement during a Senate hearing that she did not understand how sex between spouses can be rape.
However, the senator was not about to let her stint with the law and her international comment prevent her from giving the people of St. Croix a star-studded campaign party. The senator was recently pardoned by Gov. John deJongh, which granted her permission to be a candidate for upcoming election in November. The senator even alluded in her advertisement on YouTube, that even though they tried to bar her from being a candidate for the election she was victorious in her appeal.
The infectious melodies of Caribbean entertainers like: Destra Garcia, Patricia Roberts, Nakeem and more, had audience members swaying, gyrating and jumping throughout the entire evening. Some people were there simply for the performances and nothing else.
“I am only here because I heard that Destra and Patricia are going to be performing,” said Shemeka Henry, who was busy trying to cut her way through a concession stand line to buy a beverage.
Another man, originally from St. Kitts and 20- year St. Croix resident, said “hell no” to re-electing Sen. Hansen.
“Listen to me little lady, the only reason I here is to see the Mighty Pat from my home country. I have been here for 20 years and let me tell you, the politics here is something else. You think I could waste a vote on that woman? She is full of crap. Look at that mess with Gov. de Jongh and all that money he spend on his place, my money! Chucky was the only one who voted against him paying back. Tell me that don’t sound fishy to you,” he said.
Another woman said that she just wanted to have fun and a free night and to see one of her favorite artists, Patricia Roberts perform.
When asked if she would be voting for the senator, Jan Brown said she will not be pushing 10 in November.
“I do not consider Chucky to be a good representative of the Virgin Islands. Look at that recent tax situation, what kind of message is that sending the VI people? It’s only telling them that it is okay to do whatever you want because we don’t even reprimand our politicians for committing crimes. If that was me who failed to file my taxes, guess where I would be? jail.” Brown said.
Although the ballpark was heavily populated with concert-goers, it appeared that there was a significant decrease in recent times in the number of attendees.
“I have been coming to Chucky’s events since I was a little girl with my parents, who are big Chucky supporters and let me tell you this doesn’t compare to some that I’ve been to. You wouldn’t have been able to be moving through the crowd so easy,” Christina Anthony said.
A large number said that they were only to be there for the entertainment, there were supporters of Sen. Hansen in the crowd. One man said that he will be pushing 10 on the ballot.
“Chucky, that’s my girl. They can try all they want to move her, she not going nowhere. Look at her up there dancing with Destra, what other politician you know so down to earth? Chucky is for the people, always has and always will. So what if she made a mistake, is human she be. Look at what she is doing here tonight, making the St.Croix people happy with this free event. What else people want?” Aubrey Nelson said, in-between sips of his beer and glances to the stage where the senator was having fun with Destra Gracia.