Victorious Port Arthur Council winners from District 3, 4 thank supporters, talk future
Thomas Kinlaw III handily retained his seat as Port Arthur District 3 Councilman, while Kenneth Marks will take over in District 4.
Kinlaw won his second three-year term after garnering 64.06 percent against Charlie Lewis Jr. (19.13 percent) and former councilman Morris Albright III (16.81 percent). Kinlaw totaled 1,269 votes to Lewis’ 379 and Albright’s 333.
Marks will join the Port Arthur City Council after winning 54.02 percent of the vote to Jonathan Sanchez’s 29.44 percent and Greg Richard’s 16.54 percent. Marks had 1,264 votes to Sanchez’s 689 and Richard’s 387.
“We hoped for the best,” Marks said. “We hoped we wouldn’t have to get into a runoff, but we were ready if we had to. But thank God we don’t have to.”
Marks will succeed Harold Doucet, who chose not to run for re-election. Marks said Doucet’s support helped him win.
“I think it’s the result of the cross-section of support from the community,” Marks said. “There were three major groups that supported my campaign, one led by incumbent Harold Doucet, the second by Unite Port Arthur, and the third were the firefighters — that along with the grassroots effort we had in the community.”
Marks, who turned 68 on Oct. 26, is a retired senior buyer with Ashland Chemical. He was chairman of a bond committee for the Port Arthur Independent School District in 2004 and served on the PAISD board from 2006-12.
Yet, Marks credits his background in the petrochemical industry, as well as accounting, logistics and procurement, for giving him a “working knowledge” of Port Arthur.
“I felt like the folks in our community who have worked with me who have seen what I’ve been able to do in the community, that speaks for itself,” Marks said. “Also with the fact I’ve been able to get along with people, that’s what I feel we need on the council. We need more people willing to cooperate and compromise.”
Marks stood on the three-pronged platform of infrastructure, revitalization and accountability of industry and businesses. He said the redoing of infrastructure under the streets has been a main concern of citizens and noted Port Arthur’s $50 million bond over five years to address it.
While “things are moving” in the direction of the city’s downtown revitalization efforts, Marks wants refineries held accountable for promises made to Port Arthur.
“What I would bring to the table is the ability to work with current councilmembers returning to move the city forward,” Marks said. “One person can’t come in with an agenda and get things done. You have to work with the framework of the city council budget.”
Marks thanked all of his supporters including his wife Dianne and campaign manager Leo Carmouche.