• 66°

Biden/Harris bus tour stops in Port Arthur

The Joe Biden campaign bus made a stop in Port Arthur Thursday morning to stump for the presidential candidate. While neither Biden nor his choice for vice president Kamala Harris made the stop, several local members of the Democratic Party and officials up for reelection spoke at the event near the intersection of Gulfway Drive and Jefferson Drive.

Port Arthur Mayor Thurman Bartie addresses the crowd at the Biden bus tour stop.

The big blue campaign bus with the names of the democratic candidates sat in background.

Family and friends of George Floyd, the Minneapolis man whose death at the hands of police sparked nationwide protests in May, spoke at the event. Floyd is from Houston and was friends with retired NBA player and Port Arthur native Stephen Jackson.

“We have to vote to breathe,” said Travis Cains, who was a close friend to Floyd. “We have to vote to breathe, because he can’t. If you have the right to vote and make this change, you have to. What has happened to my little brother was injustice. There’s an old quote that I have that says ‘Opportunity never disappears. It only goes for those who go and seize it.’”

Port Arthur mayor Thurman Bartie also spoke to the crowd of approximately 100 people.

“We are believers in democracy and doing it through the democratic process in the Democratic Party,” he said. “…Go find 10 other individuals and get them to the polls today and tomorrow. They have time.”

Friend of George Floyd, Travis Cains, right, raises a fist while talking about Floyd in Port Arthur.

Precinct 3 Commissioner Michael Sinegal also spoke along with Adrienne Bell, congressional Democratic candidate for the 14th District of Texas.

“What I see before me is power,” she said. “There is power and change in the air. We are going to lift every voice. We are going to lift up every hand and we are going to vote.”

The cold weather didn’t stop the bundled-up crowd from waiving and raising signs endorsing Biden while several others stood near or in there cars and honked in place of cheering.

Former president Bill Clinton and Sheila Jackson Lee, congressional representative of the 18th District of Texas, also appeared on a TV screen to address the Port Arthur crowd.

The bus stopped in Beaumont earlier Thursday morning and left from Port Arthur to go to Houston, Fort Bend and Corpus Christi. Harris is scheduled to be in Houston Friday.

Several polls show Texas as a close race days before the election. The state has not voted for a Democratic candidate for president since 1976 when Jimmy Carter (D) defeated Gerald Ford (R) by 3.2 percent.

The Biden bus tour stopped in Port Arthur Thursday. The bus stopped in Beaumont earlier Thursday morning and left from Port Arthur to go to Houston, Fort Bend and Corpus Christi. (Chris Moore/The News)