Runoff for Position 7, merely a formality

Published 9:27 am Monday, November 9, 2015

After 2,212 Port Arthur residents of our more than 28,000 registered voters took the time to cast their vote for one of four candidates running for PACC Position 7, we are now down to two.

On Tuesday, Dec. 8, Charlotte Moses and Reginald Trainer will be in a one-on-one runoff. But ultimately this runoff is really just a formality to get to the inevitable result with Charlotte Moses taking her seat on City Council.

The Nov. 3 election results look like this: Of the 2,212 votes cast, Moses received 1,022 at 46 percent; Trainer 562 at 25 percent; Henderson 355 at 16 percent; and Freeman 273 at 12 percent. It is really a one-sided outcome that nobody expects to change. On the surface it looks like an increase in voter turnout over previous elections but it really is not. We still continue with the struggle of attracting registered voters to the polls to vote on very important items, items that affect each of our futures.

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Compare this one to recent past elections such as the highly popular District 5 seat that saw Willie “Bae” Lewis win over Keith Richard by just five votes from a little more than 1,400 residents that voted. If we reduced our number of candidates down to just Moses and Trainer during last week’s election, would the Freeman and Henderson voters have still voted? For argument sake, let’s say they did not. This would have left only 1,584 residents to cast a vote, which is more in line with prior elections.

Although hypothetical, Moses with 1,022 votes would have won the election outright with 65 percent of the votes over Trainer’s 562 at 35 percent had it been just these two running and only their voters voting.

This is what the political world calls a “Landslide Win.” And this is even after the smear campaign her opponent’s camp initiated during the early voting period. So I really don’t think there is going to be much of a change in the final results. The community has spoken, and Charlotte Moses is whom they want.

However, as much as I say this runoff on Dec. 8 is merely a formality, voters will still need to make their way to the polls and cast another vote. History has shown us that when a runoff occurs voter turnout for the runoff election is much less. Hopefully our residents understand the importance of this election and the long-term negative impact it can have if the wrong candidate wins. This alone should be motivation to cast another vote.

So mark your calendar and be ready for Tuesday, Dec. 8.