Election

It was a regular Thursday for Julie Gauthier and her family on May 19. Work, school and a dance recital for 4-year-old Claire in the evening were part of the day’s festivities.

But Thursday also had something special in store for bot h the citizens of Port Neches and the Gauthier family as the 34-year-old Port Neches native was only the second woman in the 102-year history of the city to be sworn in to the city council. Former mayor and city council member Frances Monk was the first woman to join the council according to Jamie Louviere, Port Neches City Secretary.

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Despite an otherwise tepid voter turnout, especially on election day, the citizens who did cast their vote at the ballot box ousted four incumbents Saturday night, with the suprise of the evening coming from District 1, where Jack Chatman was unseated by Raymond Scott, 507-336.

In District 2, Liz Segler held on to her seat by a comfortable 57-vote margin, outlasting Cal Jones 287-230.

In District 3, Mayor Pro-Tem Morris Albright III had no problem dispatching former Port Arthur Mayor Oscar Ortiz, tallying 704 votes to Ortiz's 206.

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In last year’s election, three Vidor City Council incumbents were uprooted and replaced with fresh faces in Wards 2, 3 and 5. This election, the remaining three posts are up for grabs, as is the mayoral seat. The only uncontested race will put newcomer Lynda Gaye Courtney in the Ward 1 seat, a post vacated by Don Eicher, who has put in a bid in the mayoral race. Vidor Mayor Ray Long is not seeking re-election, but Eicher is not alone in his quest to be mayor. Kenneth Edward Crawford,

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At the April 5 meeting of the Bridge City Council, Mayor Kirk Roccaforte announced the city will be foregoing elections this year, as all the candidates up for re-election are unopposed.

According to Bridge City attorney Paul Fukuda, Place 1 representative Kevin Mott, Place 3 representative Robert Simonton and Place 5 representative Richard Savoy were all uncontested in their bids for office, and the city election is thereby unnecessary.

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Former Beaumont City Councilwoman Bobbie J. Patterson is now spearheading a drive she calls “Operation One Vote,” which is an outreach mission encouraging citizens to register to vote and to actually go to the polls and cast a ballot in coming elections.

In conjunction with a host of other entities, the group is sponsoring a “Meet-the-Candidates Forum & Voter Registration Drive,” which is scheduled for Thursday, April 7, at 7 p.m. at Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Hall located at 3390 Sarah Street in Beaumont.

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