Some big primary races in Jefferson County go to runoff

Published 10:20 pm Tuesday, March 6, 2018

At the conclusion of a short but busy 2018 primary campaign season the results are in for contested Democratic and Republican candidates running for office.

For the three Democrats vying for the 172nd Judicial District judgeship, the results are in and there will be a runoff.

Melody Chappell had 6,109 votes or 43.66 percent, Tina Bradley had 4,943 votes or 35.86 percent and Kent Johns had 2,823 votes or 20.48 percent.

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Melody Chappell said she will work as hard on the runoff election as she has the past six months of the primary election. She added that she is not disappointed to be in a runoff.

“I’ll ask voters who voted for me to come out to the runoff,” she said.

The runoff election is May 9.

Tina Bradley could not be reached for comment.

In another active race with four Democratic Party candidates, Jefferson County Precinct 8 justice of the peace will also be a runoff election.

Incumbent Tom Gillam III got 510 votes or 45.09 percent, Joseph Guillory II got 260 votes or 22.99 percent in a nail biter finish over Melanie Ned, who got 250 votes or 22.10 percent in the Jefferson County Justice of the Peace, Precinct 8 race. Antoine Leonard Freeman got 111 votes or 9.81 percent.

Gillam could not be reached for comment.

Guillory said he’s encouraged and he looks forward to the runoff.

“It was a very good race and voters think it’s time for a change,” he said. “I met people where they were. I think the JP is the ambassador to the city and I speak to people all the time. I will operate the office with dignity and respect.”

In addition to meeting voters face to face, Guillory said he set up a website and reached out on social media.

During the period before the runoff election, he said he will talk to people who didn’t vote and get them involved and knock on doors. He thanked God, his parents, family and supporters for their help.

Ned said it was a close race and the best man won. This is her first time to run for elected office.

She retired from the Federal Bureau of Prisons and she said she will enjoy her retirement.

Incumbent Republican Randy Weber faced primary challenger Bill “Sarge” Sargent for the U.S. Representative District 14 seat. Weber got 6,247 votes or 86.21 percent, Keith Casey got 266 votes or 3.67 percent and Sargent got 733 votes or 10.12 percent.

Weber said he married a Nederland Bulldog and they will be the most active congressional couple the district has ever seen.

Weber hails from the Houston area. When he was elected, residents in the Golden Triangle asked him not to forget about them. He said he hasn’t forgot and he will be working the district until the November general election.

“We have (Hurricane and Tropical Storm) Harvey behind us. People are still hurting, need housing, need help,” Weber said. “I spoke today with Elaine Chao, the transportation secretary, about the Sabine-Neches Waterway and how important the Port of Beaumont is in moving military cargo.”

For the Democrat side in District 14, Adrienne Bell and Levy Barnes Jr. competed to be nominee for that seat. Bell got 8,200 votes or 71.67 percent and Barnes got 3,241 votes or 28.33 percent.

Bell could not be reached for comment.