Port Arthur mayor’s race heads to runoff, candidates react

Published 9:28 pm Saturday, May 7, 2022

Incumbent Thurman Bartie and former Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation CEO Floyd Batiste are headed for a runoff in the race for Port Arthur mayor.

With all voting centers reporting results at approximately 9 p.m. Saturday, Bartie had 47.28 percent of the vote with Batiste holding 26.44 percent.

A candidate must reach a 50 percent-plus-one vote total in order to be declared the winner by majority.

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Bartie on Saturday was hosting a watch party on Procter Street.

“I’m good,” he said following the official results. “If there’s a runoff, there’s a runoff. I’m just excited to go back to work.”

Bartie was elected to his first term in 2019.

Batiste served as CEO of the PAEDC for 17 years before resigning in July 2021. He remained on staff until Sept. 30.

“The people have spoken,” Batiste said following Saturday’s results. “We don’t have a clear winner. I think I have the leadership to take this community to the next level.”

The race included four candidates. Former councilman Willie “Bae” Lewis Jr. took 17.83 percent of the votes, while retired refinery employee Matthews Christian Jr. took 8.45 percent.