Let the games begin: PA Mayor Race!

Published 8:54 am Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Although we have yet to reach filing dates for the upcoming Port Arthur Mayor’s position, which will see Port Arthur Mayor Bobby Prince stepping down from the position after meeting term limits, three candidates have already announced their bid to run in the May election. They are Janice Milo, who is Pastor at Kingdom Dominion Church; former Port Arthur City Councilman Harold Doucet; and Derrick Freeman, who recently stepped down from his Port Arthur City Council Position 7 seat.

Trying to get a jump on the others, two of the three have already begun pushing their campaigns over social media. Some might use the saying “The early bird gets the worm,” but we will see. I’m not totally convinced that these three will be the only candidates running when we do get to the filing dates. We still have time for others who are considering making a run to do so.

What we know for sure is after the initial election, if none of the candidates garner 50 percent of the votes, there will be a runoff with the top two vote getters going head to head. Leaning on low voter turnout from recent elections, I expect this will be the case, making this first election in May very important.

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It hasn’t started yet, and I expect that’s because we aren’t yet to the actual filing date, but as we have seen in past elections, mud slinging from supporters of certain candidates causes quite the uproar. I am hopeful that this round of candidates can have a professional approach; running on and promoting a platform that will win them the election without candidate bashing.

It is my opinion that if candidates cannot win on their own merit and platform, then they have no right to be Mayor. It would be wise for candidates to keep their supporters in check if they truly want to win this race. A well intended but highly tactless candidate attack from a supporter could very well lose an election for them. This is not a presidential election; this is a local election, and locally we need to be better than that.

Port Arthur seeks a Mayor who will work well with our City Manager, has a passion for wanting Port Arthur to be a better place for all citizens and can work together with current city council members. Our new Mayor should understand that a difference of opinion is not a bad thing, but something needed to ensure our community moves forward and will lead City Council to handle issues and concerns by citizens in a timely manner.

The next few months will be interesting indeed. So let the games begin and may the BEST candidate become our next Mayor!

Follow me on Twitter @rich_macke