General elections are always exciting times in the Bahamas. Like all those that have transpired, elections are always filled with intrigue, alliances, divisions, and of course, surprising conclusions. As the winners rejoice in a well fought battle, and as the losers bandage their wounds, readying the march back onto the battlefield, to engage the war of politics once again, there is a little known political story from its vast forgotten history.

 

The year was 1962. Mr. Harold R. DeGregory of West End, Grand Bahama had decided to throw his hat into the political ring once again. He would run for the Bimini and Grand Bahama seat. There were quite a few people who thought Mr. DeGregory would not think to offer himself again for public office following the events of two years before, in 1960.

 

Degregory had been elected to the House of Assembly in February 1960 after a run-off by-election. The by-election was due to a vacated seat left by the Honorable C. W. Bethel, who had moved to the Legislative House. Degregory took his place for the constituency of Grand Bahama. But a fierce dispute soon arose over the election results. It would take an agonising few weeks to resolve itself and when it did, Mr. Degregory lost his seat to Mr. Warren Levarity who had filed a convincing challenge over the result tally. On May 28, 1960, a ruling was handed down on the case of Levarity vs. Degregory.

 

And so, after six short weeks as a Member of the Bahamas Parliament, Harold Degregory reluctantly vacated the seat he thought he had won, in favour of Warren Levarity. A little over two years later, in 1962, Degregory would pick himself up, brush himself off and run as an independent candidate. He would go on to win the independent seat of Bimini and Grand Bahama in 1962.

 

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