Early voting numbers continue to climb in Port Arthur mayoral race

Published 11:43 am Monday, June 6, 2022

With two days of early voting before Saturday’s mayoral runoff election, more than 1,000 votes have already been cast.

Prior to polls opening this morning, a combination of in-person and mail ballots totaled 1,516 votes with the largest daily amount being 293 on June 1, according to information from Jefferson County.

Early voting numbers are now more than half of all 3,021 votes cast in the May 7 race between incumbent Thurman Bartie, Floyd Batiste, Willie “Bae” Lewis Jr. and Matthews Christian, Jr.

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At the end of May 7, Bartie’s 47.28 percent of the vote and Batiste’s 26.44 forced a runoff.

On Monday, Bartie and Batiste were seated outside the Port Arthur Public Library to speak with voters.

Batiste said he had been there since 7 a.m. and intended to stay until polls close at 7 p.m.

“I feel real good,” he said. “I think the second election gave me the opportunity to let the people know who I am and what I’ve done for the community.”

Batiste previously served for 17 years as the CEO of the Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation before resigning last July.

“When you look at the leadership skills I have, the workforce skills I have, the ability to get things done and you put it on both sides, I think the choice is clear,” he said.

Bartie, who was simultaneously handling city business by phone, also said he had been at the site all morning and intended on staying all day to visit with voters.

“I just wish they keep coming, and I hope I’m their choice,” the mayor said.

He also commented on the number of early votes already cast.

“Saturday it might end up back at 3,000,” Bartie said. “I just hope I’ve got 50 percent.”

The candidates both addressed their platforms in previous discussions with Port Arthur Newsmedia.

Bartie said he is focusing on infrastructure, while Batiste said communication and transparency are key.

Polls are open until 7 p.m. today and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the library and the sub-courthouse on 4th Street.

Polls will also be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.