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Bartie, former JP, announces run for Port Arthur mayor

January 16, 2019

Former Jefferson County Justice of the Peace Thurman Bartie, 64, announced his candidacy for Port Arthur mayor Tuesday on the steps of City Hall.

Bartie, who’s lived in Port Arthur for most of his life, said he was approached by a group of city residents last summer who asked him to run. But he didn’t seriously consider it until they asked again later in 2018.

“I determined (winning) would be a possibility if I worked hard. It would become a reality if I got people to support me,” he said. “That brings me to today, where the possibility and probability is there.”

Bartie said his main priorities are to unify the Port Arthur’s government agencies so they can work together when determining where the city to progress. He also wants to emphasize job creation and fixing Port Arthur’s outdated infrastructure.

He didn’t yet have a plan on how to advance those goals but said he hopes his position as mayor would influence other council members to get on board.

“I know it’s not going to be easy because we haven’t done it yet,” he said.

Bartie began his tenure as Justice of the Peace in 1995 but was suspended from his position in 2002 by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. The body found he used obscene language in the courtroom, failed to follow the law, and exhibited incompetence in the law, among other findings. A later decision to bar him from holding judicial office in the state because of these actions was upheld by a Texas Supreme Court review tribunal in 2004.

Bartie said he’s learned from the mistakes and grown since then.

“I’m not the same individual that made some of those decisions and reacted to a certain stimuli,” he said. “All I can do is ask for another opportunity to serve my community because I love this community and have worked for it.”

kaitlin.bain@beaumontenterprise.com

twitter.com/KaitlinBain

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