Chappell, Gillam win in Democratic runoffs

Published 10:04 pm Tuesday, May 22, 2018

There were close numbers in the Democratic runoff election, which locally pitted two attorneys against each other for the district judge seat of the 172nd judicial district and an incumbent and challenger in the race for justice of the peace Precinct 8 on Tuesday.

Beaumont attorney Melody Chappell brought in 6,616 votes or 55.32 percent of the total ballots cast. Her opponent, Mid-County area attorney Tina Bradley, came in with 5,343 votes or 44.68 percent of the total.

Chappell, in a statement on her campaign’s Facebook page, thanked all who helped her along the way.

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“We let every voice be heard in this county and I appreciate everyone who has been a part, gave me a hug, gave me words of encouragement. I appreciate it,” she said. “Now we’ve got to do it again in November.”

Chappell went on to say there is an even bigger need in November because there is a bigger bridge to cross.

“We’ve got to do it. We’ve got to keep this courtroom,” she said. “We’ve got to keep it for all of the people in Jefferson County.”

The retirement of Judge Donald Floyd from the 172nd district court led initially to three Democratic candidates and one Republican candidate in the primaries. Democratic challengers included Kent Johns, Tina Bradley and Melody Chappell. Neither Bradley nor Chappell earned more than 50 percent of the votes, triggering the runoff.

Chappell will face Republican Mitch Templeton in the November election.

With 10 of 13 precincts reporting in the JP race, incumbent Tom Gillam III brought in 568 votes or 54.77 percent of the total ballots cast. His opponent, Joseph L. Guillory II, came in with 469 votes or 45.23 percent of the total ballots cast.

The News was unable to reach Gillam as of 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Guillory, who lost by 99 votes, said he was happy with the campaign he ran and gave thanks to those who came out and voted.

During the March primaries the JP seat brought in four Democrats- Gillam, Guillory, Antoine Leonard Freeman and Melanie Ned. Gillam and Guillory were the top vote-getters but Gillam was just shy of the 50 plus percent needed to win. There is no republican candidate in this race.