|Member of Parliament
for Saint John
January 20, 2011
|Preceded by||David Thompson|
|Spouse of the Prime Minister of Barbados|
January 16, 2008 – October 23, 2010
|Preceded by||Julie Arthur|
October 4, 1961 |
|Political party||Democratic Labour Party|
|Spouse(s)||David Thompson (1991-2010)|
|Residence||Mapps, St. Philip|
|Profession||Paralegal, physical education teacher|
Marie-Josephine Mara Thompson (born October 4, 1961) is a Saint Lucian-born Barbadian politician, educator and widow of the sixth Prime Minister of Barbados, David Thompson, who died in office on October 23, 2010. Thompson won the special by-election to succeed her husband in the Saint John constituency on Thursday, January 20, 2011, holding the seat for the Democratic Labour Party.
Thompson was born Marie-Josephine Mara Giraudy in Saint Lucia on October 4, 1961, to Monica and Henry Giraudy. Her father, Henry Giraudy Q.C., was a prominent Saint Lucian lawyer and politician, who was nicknamed "The Chairman" due to his high position within the United Workers Party (UWP). Henry Giraudy served as the President of the Senate of St. Lucia at one point.
Thompson attended school at St Joseph’s Convent in Castries, Saint Lucia. She was a student at the University of Western Ontario from 1979 to 1983, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in physical education. She then enrolled at Howard University in Washington D.C. from 1986 to 1988, and obtained a Master of Science in physical education. Thompson also hold a certificate in paralegal education from Barbados Community College, which she attended from 2005 to 2007.
Mara Thompson taught physical education at schools throughout the Caribbean and the United States between 1986 and 2005. She served on the faculties of the Owl School in Washington D.C.; the Immaculate Conception High & Prep Schools located in Kingston, Jamaica; Castries Comprehensive Secondary School in Saint Lucia; the Christ Church Foundation School and the Combermere School, both in Barbados. She worked as a paralegal at her husband's law firm, Thompson & Associates, after receiving her paralegal certificate in 2007.
David Thompson, the leader of the Democratic Labour Party, became the Prime Minister of Barbados on January 16, 2008, succeeding Owen Arthur. He died in office of pancreatic cancer on October 23, 2010, at the family's home in Mapps, St Philip.
In early January 2011, Mara Thompson confirmed her intent to contest the special election called to fill the seat of her late husband in the Saint John constituency. David Thompson had held since the Saint John seat since 1987, succeeding the late Prime Minister Errol Barrow, who also died in office. The Saint John is considered to be a stronghold for Thompson's Democratic Labour Party (DLP). Thompson's candidacy won the official endorsement of the DLP at a meeting held on January 2, 2011. Thompson won 60 of the DLP's 69 votes, defeating several potential DLP candidates, who included Leroy McClean, Anthony Walrond, Vere Brathwaite, David Gittens and Peter David. Thompson made her first political speech as a candidate on January 6, 2011, in the village of Gall Hill, Christ Church parish.
Her opponent in the election was businessman Hudson Griffith of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP). Owen Arthur, the former Prime Minister and leader of the opposition Barbados Labour Party attempted to make Thompson's Saint Lucian origins an issue in the election. Arthur was criticized for the move by Barbadian Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, Saint Lucian Prime Minister Stephenson King and Vincentian Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves.
Mara Thompson won the special by-election on January 20, 2011, by a landslide. She defeated her opponent, Hudson Griffith, by a large margin of 4,613 votes to Griffith's 553 votes in the election. Thompson won all 23 of the election ballot boxes in the Saint John constituency. She performed better than David Thompson did in the 2008 general election, when he secured approximately 4,300 votes in the constituency.
- "Mara wins seat". The Daily Nation (Barbados). Starbroek News. 2011-01-21. Retrieved 2011-01-26.
- "Widow Mara Thompson enjoys electoral success". Bajan Sun. 2011-01-21. Retrieved 2011-01-26.
- "Bio on late PM David Thompson". The Daily Nation (Barbados). 2010-10-23. Retrieved 2011-01-26.
- Singh, Rickey (2010-10-23). "Death of third Barbados PM in 25 years". Trinidad Express. Retrieved 2011-01-26.
- "Mara steps out front". The Daily Nation (Barbados). 2011-01-07. Archived from the original on 2012-06-19. Retrieved 2011-01-26.
- "Barbados in mourning: PM Thompson is dead". Barbados NationNews. 2010-10-23. Retrieved 2011-01-26.
- "David Thompson's widow to contest by-election". Jamaica Observer. 2011-01-03. Retrieved 2011-01-26.
- "Widow of late Barbados PM gets by-election nod". Caribbean 360. 2011-01-03. Retrieved 2011-01-26.
- Martindale, Carol (2011-01-07). "Mara’s ready to serve". The Daily Nation (Barbados). Retrieved 2011-01-26.
- "Owen chided". The Daily Nation (Barbados). 2011-01-13. Retrieved 2011-01-26.
- "St Lucia, St Vincent PMs chide Owen Arthur over Mara Thompson candidature". The Daily Nation (Barbados). Starbroek News. 2011-01-16. Retrieved 2011-01-26.
- "Late PM's widow takes landslide win in by election". Caribbean 360. 2011-01-21. Retrieved 2011-01-26.
|Parliament of Barbados|
|Member of Parliament for Saint John
2011 – Present