Gethrel “Get” Williams-Wright has been on the Beaumont City Council for eight years now. She was elected to the city council in 2007.
Former council member at-large Becky Ames ran for mayor that year after serving since 1997. And Andrew Cokinos was finally too sick to fulfill his duties on city council for 21 years.
The race was wide open with 8 candidates vying for the two seats. Excepting “Bruce” Hendrix, all were new faces to the at-large election. Charlie Foxworth, “Get” Wright, Allen Lee, Delores Davis, Leroy Lewis III, Dean L. Tucker, and W.L. Pate, Jr..
When it was over citizens of the city of Beaumont had elected a white man and a black woman.
But is was close. Gethrel Williams-Wright won her seat with 27.72 percent of the vote. She defeated Charlie Foxworth by only 135 votes. It was said at the time she won because of the support of the Beaumont Firefighters Union Local 399. Williams-Wright is a long time union supporter and activist.
W.L. Pate, a local businessman, won with 28.14 percent of the vote.
It was a largely uncontested election in 2013. Excepting the race for Beaumont mayor. As a result, voter turn-out was dismal. 3662 total ballots cast. Under 10 percent of registered voters.
In the race for the two at-large city council seats a total of 3613 votes were cast for the two incumbents. Gethrel “Get” Wright and W.L. Pate, Jr.. One black woman and one white man.
Two votes, two candidates. As the only two choices it would make sense that both got around the same percent of the vote. Maybe a little more or a little less here and there.
But that’s not what happened. Because it was decided largely by race and the refusal of both black and white voters to vote for a candidate of the other color.