PORT ARTHUR, Texas — The Port Arthur mayoral election will head to a runoff, after the top candidate didn't reach the majority needed for a win.
Incumbent Thurman Bartie will face off against Floyd Batiste on Saturday, June 11, 2022.
Mayor Bartie said pending the county clerk's approval, the runoff should take place on June 11, 2022. Early voting will start on May 31 and end on June 4 from 8 p.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
On June 6 and June 7 voters can vote from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Thurman Bartie received 47% of the vote, Floyd Batiste received 26% of the vote, Willie Lewis received 18% of the vote and Matthews Christian Jr. received 8% of the vote.
Incumbent Thurman Bartie, a Port Arthur native, has been mayor since 2019 and describes himself as a product of Port Arthur schools.
Although Bartie didn't walk home a winner, he still remains positive and ecstatic.
"To have gotten very close to 50% of the votes shows that the citizens are actually in agreement with my continuing the process, and the progress that we've begun here in Port Arthur," Bartie said.
Through the many issues Jefferson County has faced, Bartie is appreciative of the citizens passing the referendum to deepen the Sabine Neches Waterway.
"I think our tenants will increase, and our reports, job opportunities, economically, we are coming to that. What we are doing now in '22, will affects us in '32 and even '42," Bartie said.
Bartie says he is looking forward to these next few weeks on the campaign trail.
“Our infrastructure, our budget, our streets, everything we are working on now currently, can be continued,” Bartie said.
Another new face on the ballot was Floyd Batiste who described himself as a public servant and a social worker, with a background in the workforce and economic development.
Batiste says his reasons for running for Port Arthur Mayor is because lack of leadership.
"I think there needs to be much better transparency among the council and the people. I think there needs to be more communication. I think I have a better skill set to move this city to another level," Batiste said.
Willie Lewis, a refinery retiree and Vietnam veteran was making his fourth run for mayor and touted his 30 years of experience in city government.
"People are upset about the city service," Lewis said. "They are paying for city services, garbage pickup, trash pickup, they aren’t getting these things."
Matthews Christian Jr., born and raised in the city, was a new face on the ballot and said he believes the city has potential.
"We're here to represent you, the citizens, and that what we are going to do, and that why I decided to run for mayor," Christian said during the campaign. "It's time that we but the "P" back in Port Arthur, and that's the pride, and the people."
Lewis said during the campaign that drainage and infrastructure were his main focus.
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This is a developing story. We will update with more if and when we receive more confirmed information.