, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

May 6, 2014

Early voting about normal for PA elections

PORT ARTHUR — About nine percent of Port Arthur voters turned out early to cast their votes for city council and school board elected positions and to determine whether  Water District 10 can build a new $1 million fire station.

Totals through Monday indicated 1,211 people voted early for the May 10 election.

Though Tuesday totals were not yet calculated, Port Arthur Election Administrator Sherri Ballard said the voter turnout so far was about average, running much the same as it does every year during the early voting period.

Last year during the May 2013 city and school board elections, 2,278 people voted early in an election that featured several charter changes. Another 1,039 people voted on election day last year for a total of 3,317 of the city’s 36,524 registered voters casting ballots.

Ballard said last year was the largest turnout since she was named city secretary about three years ago.

This year 38,600 people have registered to vote in the city and 38,302 voters registered in the Port Arthur School District, according to the Jefferson County Voter Registrar’s office.

Of the three early voting locations — the Port Arthur Public Library, City Hall and one in Sabine Pass — the most votes cast early were at the library location.

Through Monday 750 people voted early at the library compared to 443 at City Hall and 18 in Sabine Pass.

In  Port Arthur, 13 people are seeking six open City Council seats.

Those expiring seats include: District 1, currently held by Raymond Scott Jr.; District 2, held by Elizabeth “Liz” Segler; District 3, held by Morris Albright III; District 4, formerly held by Robert Troy; Position 7, held by Derrick Freeman; and Position 8, held by Kerry “Twin” Thomas.

For the District 1 seat, Mike Mason is challenging incumbent Scott.

The District 2 seat has three candidates: Carroll “Cal” Jones, Tiffany Hamilton and Maria Block. Incumbent Liz Segler is not seeking re-election.

In the District 4 race, “The Breeze” radio station owner Stephen A. Mosely is facing challenger Laura Miguez for the seat. Miguez, 43, is a lead operator.

Position 7 also has two candidates: Incumbent Derrick Freeman and Reginald Trainer.

The Position 8 seat is busy with three candidates: incumbent Kerry Thomas, Lowra Reado-Harrison, and Kaprina Richardson Frank.

Five candidates are vying for two seats up for election on the Port Arthur Independent School District board of trustees, including incumbents Thomas Kinlaw III, and Kenneth Lofton Jr.

Debra Drake Ambroise, Efrain Avendano and Anthony McDaniel round out the list of candidates.

The Nederland Independent School District board of trustees canceled its May elections.

Incumbents Marty Byrd and Kay Decuir were the lone filers for their respective seats, and Ron Burkhalter filed to keep the seat to which he was appointed after Everett Sanderson resigned last May.

The City of Nederland also canceled its election as candidates did not draw any opponents.

Mayor R.A. “Dick” Nugent and Ward 2 Councilman Billy Neal will keep their seats as they as unopposed.

Craig Belaire, 48, a wealth management advisor with Merrill Lynch in Beaumont, will take the Ward 4 position that was held by Bert Rogers, who opted not to run for reelection.

Residents in the Jefferson County Water District No. 10 area will be able to vote on a $1 million bond for the construction of a new fire station.


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