The Grand Bassa County Senator was elected to the Liberian Senate in a by-election following the death of Thomas Whitefield of the former ruling National Patriotic Party (NPP). And having served the people of Grand Bassa County in the Liberian Senate, otherwise known as the Upper House of the Liberian Legislature for the past eight years, Senator Karnga-Lawrence is seeking re-election in the ensuing December 8, 2020 Special Senatorial Election. But the road to re-election has been an uphill battle with former Foreign Minister Findley, who is also a former Senator of the County and former President Pro- Tempore of the Liberian Senate, seeking for the biggest political seat of the county, as well as the county’s Electoral District #4 Representative, Vincent T. Willie challenging her on the other side.
Though Rep. Willie and other aspirants pose some serious challenges, Senator Karnga-Lawrence and former Minister Findley are inevitably the two forerunners for the ensuing race with the latter being tipped as the possible successor in the earliest stage of the electoral process. However, that morale was somewhat dented following allegation of illegal sales of diplomatic passports levied against him by the former Director of Passport at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that spread throughout the county. On the heel of this grave allegations, Findley’s woe has furthered been deepened on the heel of his long-time closest political ally, former Gender Minister Madam Julia Duncan-Cassell rescinding her decision to support the sitting Senator instead. It could be recalled that while speaking at a news conference in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County and subsequently with this paper upon her return from the United States of America (USA) several weeks ago, Madam Duncan-Cassell threw a jibe at the incumbent Senator, asserting that the county was not prepared to give anyone their retirement or have sympathy for a woman candidate.
She pointed out that while she comes from the UP, which is a member of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), and being a person who supports the quest of women, it didn’t mean that it was a compulsory that she supports Senator Karnga-Lawrence, who is a woman and represents the CPP’s ticket. "In this 2020, let me be very clear, we are not going to give people their retirement job so. While I support women in politics, that doesn’t mean that I am going to support any woman who served for many years but has nothing to show,” stated the former Grand Bassa County Superintendent. "Grand Bassa County is not prepared to give anyone their retirement job this 2020.Let me be clear here, I am a member of the Unity Party that is also a part of the Collaborating Political Parties, but I am not going to support anyone wanting their retirement job. People need to prove what they have done for the county before they can get elected,” she indicated in what appeared to be a clear jibe thrown at the Grand Bassa County Senator, having being the one to serve for the past eight years after succeeding the late Thomas Whitefield, who died in 2012.
Madam Duncan-Cansell has over years had strong bond of friendship with Liberia’s immediate ex-Foreign Minister, Gbezohngar Findley, who is Sen. Karnga-Lawrence’s major challenger. However, Madam Duncan-Cassell said in spite the friendly political tie that has subsisted between her and Findley, she at the weekend, summersaulted on her earlier comment to now support the incumbent for a re-election. Madam Duncan-Cassell did not only declare support for the Senator, she also accepted her appointment to serve on the campaign team of the Grand Bassa County lawmaker. Even though the former superintendent and the Sen. Karnga-Lawrence have been major political rivals over years in the county, political pundits believe she prefers to support her for now rather than her “brother” Findley, who traded the relationship in 2017 to support the candidate of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) candidate, now Electoral District #3 Representative Matthew Joe against her.
In the earliest stages of the 2017 Presidential and Representative Elections, Findley was a staunch support of the presidential bid of former Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai with many speculating that he was going to be the pick for the Vice Presidency. However, on the menu of several names including Findley, then Internal Affairs Minister Dr. Henrique Tokpa, now Bong County Senator, former VP Boakai then surprisingly picked then House Speaker James Emmanuel Nuquay as his running mate, thus angering Findley and others. Findley, in bid to pay back, defected to the then opposition party, now ruling party – the CDC. He took President George Manneh Weah and members of the CDC to Buchanan and vigorously campaigned for every candidate of the CDC, including Rep. Joe against his “sister” Duncan-Cassell, even though he and the former Grand Bassa County administrator (Duncan-Cassell) drank some ‘Bassa pepper soup and swallowed dumboy’ together at her place. Supporting Joe at the time was seemed as a slap in the face of Madam Duncan-Cassell, who was heavily reliant on her brother (Findley) popularity to pull some votes in the city center to possibly become a lawmaker.