AP NEWS

5th candidate emerges in Beaumont mayor’s race

February 16, 2019

A former captain with Beaumont Fire Rescue joined the Beaumont mayoral race Friday before filing ended at 5 p.m., adding another opponent for incumbent Becky Ames to face in this election.

Bill Lambert, a 27-year veteran of the fire department, is among an “unexpectedly large” number of candidates running for mayor, City Clerk Tina Broussard said.

Joshua Yates, Geary Senigaur Jr. and Jude Paredez are also campaigning for the position.

Broussard said there was an uptick in filings for the open at-large positions as well.

Broussard said it’s unclear why so many people are running for mayor, but she thought more people were filing for at-large because they thought they might have a chance after the death last year of Councilwoman Gethrel “Get” Hall Williams-Wright.

Williams-Wright served on the council for more than a decade and was replaced by William Sam when she died at 78 after a brief hospitalization. She had lived with and beaten pancreatic cancer.

She had had a legacy on the council and in the community that meant her seat was largely locked down for the years she served.

At her funeral last year, members of the community shared stories about how she unified the community and changed the skirts-or-dresses policy at the postal service. She also sat in with other members of the community at a pharmacy lunch counter in the Stadium Shopping Center south of Washington Boulevard when people of color were barred from dining.

“I knew her death would have caused some more people to run,” Broussard said. “People thought it was a viable seat now because they wouldn’t have to run against her.”

Broussard and City Manager Kyle Hayes weren’t sure why so many people are running for mayor. The city has five candidates, which is more than Broussard remembers seeing in her 16 years with the city.

“The most I remember seeing run for mayor is three,” she said. “Since I’ve been here I’ve never seen so many people run for mayor.”

There are also two candidates running for Nederland’s Ward 4, which City Clerk Gay Ferguson said she wasn’t expecting.

“I didn’t think (people were mad about anything) but now, who knows,” Ferguson said.

No one filed for the fourth seat on Kountze city council before the deadline, so a temporary member will hold the position until it can be permanently filled, Kountze City Secretary Kim Haynes said.

Election day is May 4.

kaitlin.bain@beaumontenterprise.com

haley.bruyn@beaumontenterprise.com