PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

November 21, 2012

Race for tax office ends

Josh Brown
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — Thomas Sigee is withdrawing his request for a recount, bringing an end to the ongoing race for Jefferson County’s tax assessor-collector.

Republican Shane Howard won the position by 16 votes after the general election and provisional ballots were counted, and Sigee announced he would file for a recount the following day.

Now, more than two weeks after election day, Sigee has decided to end his attempt at running the county tax office.

“It’s not worth going down that road,” he said.

Sigee said he is taking back his request because the recount would not include paper ballots, which defeats the purpose of trying again.

“We received some bad information,” he said. “I’m responsible for everything that happens in my campaign, and I let some people down.”

Sigee paid approximately $11,000 to file for a recount, including $100 for every polling station. He said he does not think there will be an issue with receiving a refund.

“I don’t know if there are any administrative costs, but I don’t think there will be any problem,” he said.

Sigee’s request must be reviewed and approved by County Judge Jeff Branick.

County Clerk Carolyn Guidry said there has been no official action taken so far.

“There has been not email or letter I’ve seen,” she said. “Officially, [Sigee] can’t say he has withdrawn.”

Howard said he is glad the race is done and is looking forward to running the tax office for the next four years.

“You don’t have to like the process, but you have to respect it,” he said. “I’m thankful people voted the way they did.”