GALVESTON — It appears that even after two elections, the race for the La Marque’s District B council seat has not been decided.

According to complete but unofficial results, the runoff race between incumbent council member James Osteen and challenger Chris Lane ended in a rare tie Saturday.

Both men received 157 votes, after early votes and election day ballots were cast.

Both the candidates and election officials said Saturday evening that they were stunned by the close vote.

“That didn’t even cross my mind,” Lane said of the possibility of a tie. “But everything happened the way it was supposed to.”

Osteen was even more speechless.

“What are the chances of that?” Osteen said. “We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Both candidates said they were willing to enter another runoff election.

Other factors could affect the results of this election before a runoff race is officially called.

There were 26 provisional ballots cast countywide for the runoff election. Galveston County Chief Deputy Clerk of Elections Bill Sargent said that three of them were cast in La Marque, meaning they likely involved the city’s council race. 

Provisional ballots are cast by voters whose names do not appear on the list of registered voters, or by those who do not show the proper photo identification at a polling location. 

Provisional ballots are kept separate from regular ballots and are only counted if a board of officials deem the person who voted provisionally eligible to vote.

The provisional ballots will not be judged as valid until Saturday, Sargent said.

If there is still a tie after they are considered, it is possible there would have to be another election in La Marque to decide the race.

La Marque city clerk Robin Eldridge said the city’s charter calls for another runoff if a race ends in a tie. Eldridge said that holding another runoff could cost the city as much as $20,000.

If the candidates wanted to avoid another runoff vote they could choose to cast lots to determine the winner, or one of them could choose to drop out. Election officials will also conduct an automatic recount to confirm the results of the race.


Woods wins District 1 under controversy

Challenger Tarris Woods defeated incumbent District 1 Galveston City Council Cornelia Harris Banks, 262-205, seemingly deciding the final composition of the new look City Council.

However, even as votes were being tallied, election officials revealed that Woods had been reprimanded earlier in the week for apparent violations to the state election code.

Sargent said Wednesday evening that poll workers had seen Woods escort voters into the Galveston County Courthouse on Wednesday. State voting rules require a candidate stay 100 feet away from polling locations when an election is underway.

Sargent said that if Woods was not in the courthouse on official business with the county or using the bathroom facilities, he should not have been near the building at all.

“I received notification from the election judge at the county courthouse on Wednesday evening that Mr. Woods had been in the voting location bringing people in to vote,” Sargent said. “And that he was actually in the voting location.”

Sargent said that Woods was not telling people how to vote, but was inside the building.

After Woods’ presence was reported to him, Sargent said he called the candidate to inform him of the state rules. Sargent said that Woods did not deny being in the polling places. 

Woods did not respond to multiple calls and messages seeking comment.

Sargent said he did not report the violation to the Texas Secretary of State’s office, which reviews election complaints. It was unclear on Saturday evening if anyone else had made a complaint to state officials.

“The only action I took was to tell him not to do it again,” Sargent said.

After the final votes came in on Saturday, Banks said she would concede the race to Woods but was concerned not only with Woods’ action during the election, but with ongoing questions regarding his residency.

“I’m not angry or sad or anything, I think I did my best,” Banks said “I played by the rules.”

On election documents filed with the city, Woods claimed his home address is on Winnie Street. But many of his opponents claim his actual home address is in the Colony Park neighborhood, outside of District 1. Woods’ residency has been a point of contention for years, but past complaints about his living situation were left largely unresolved.

Since Woods last served on the council in 2012, the city changed its charter rules regarding residency, but it is unclear if Woods is in violation of those rules.

Banks said she was unsure who should check into Woods’ living situation, but thought it would be proper for the city to confirm his residency.

“I don’t know whose job it is to find out if that person actually lives there,” Banks said. “I think that if you’re doing the right thing, you should prove that you live in District 1.”

In a third race decided Saturday, Michael Hughes defeated Sheryl Rozier 891-576 for a regents position at Galveston College.





Contact John Wayne Ferguson at 409-683-5226 or


(26) comments

Robert Buckner

Another runoff in LM? Forget it, I ain't gonna bother. The poll workers were great to me but something in their lil computers said I need to fill out more BS in order to vote. This podunk town just ain't worth the bother, dissolve the city and the ISD, the whole county will benefit.

Walter Manuel

This is ridiculous.

LM city council appears to be headed in the same direction as LMISD.

It's time to incorporate La Marque with Texas City in order to salvage what's left of this little podunk town and to protect property values. [yawn]

Jake Feigle

Maybe this is an omen. James Osteen was caught in a raciest situation that he was no part of. Two of his supporters had allegedly made raciest remarks. The charges are still under investigation. At this point it is a he said she said issue. The only solution is for all persons involved to take polygraph test. Mayor Hockings and Councilwoman have both said they would take the test. The holdup is , Mayor Hocking said Mrs. Trube should take the test first, and if she passed the test , the problem would be solved. In this Country, a person is innocent until proven guilty. With that in mind, all of the accusers should be the first to take the tests. That would include Mayor Hocking, City Manager Butler, and both of the Betheas. The racial charges made by the Mayor and the City Manager were allegedly made in 2012. If the charges were valid, action should have been taken then. Racial charges are serious charges that should be handled at once. None of the other Councilmen were informed about the charges until the special meeting called by Mayor Hocking June of 2014.The Mayor and the City Manager failed to do their duty to the citizens of La Marque. If the people fail to take the polygraph tests, I would assume that the charges are false. In any event, Mr. Osteen had no part in this. The race card did not get played until after the results of the primary election were posted and Mrs.. Bethea made a poor showing finishing in a distant third place. I believe these charges was fueled by the desire for revenge for her poor showing. If there must be another election to determine the winner, I hope Mr. Osteen will not be judged for something he had nothing to do with. Remember, racism can work both ways.

GW Cornelius

Sad day for Galveston when someone like Woods can be elected. He not only does not live in his district he violates election laws. Sounds like a real winner, NOT!!

Jackson Hancock

Responsibility. That's what each and every elected official accept when they swear into office.
Mr. Osteen may not be able to control what others say but he has a RESPONSIBILITY to speak out against it. He failed.

Chris Gimenez

IS, you demonstrate perfectly the lunacy of the Left.

Island Bred

La Marque has seen more difficult times that this. It will all be worked out according to the rules in place, life will go on, and this time next year La Marque will still be a po dunk city. I agree we just tread water and have for awhile but we are all we have and truth is no one else seems to want us. It's not like we can move our house to somewhere else. We are going to be like Hitchcock and Freddysville............ sad but sure looks like it's gonna be a long dry spell. I would rather be like Bayou Vista - at least they have a nice pool and parrot head parties![wink] I'm sure it will be fine after the dust has settled - I'm hoping James pulled it off but no matter who wins Bethea should be ashamed of herself for just being messy all the way around and Connie should make like film and remain invisible while she does some serious soul searching as to just exactly she feels she is helping this city she loves so much.

Chris Gimenez

" I would rather be like Bayou Vista - at least they have a nice pool and parrot"

Margurite, your statement just goes to show that until you dig down into the truth behind the way our city governments operate, it's easy to see things are rarely the same as what we see on the surface.

Bayou Vista's pool used to be a pool for use by homeowners of Bayou Vista. After Ike when the incompetent Mayor we had at that time decided not to spend our dollars to clean the pool and waited for FEMA to give us $25,000 to re-do it. It then had to become a COMMUNITY POOL which has no control on who shows up to use it.

Bayou Vista is also under criminal investigation by the Texas Attorney General's Office for fraud, misconduct, and worse by both current and former city employees, elected officials, and law enforcement. Most of that was allowed to occur because the majority of people in BV decided to look the other way or completely disregard what was right in front of their eyes.

We also have a Community Center that was built with city and FEMA funds that cost $615,000, was done under a no-bid contract by our city government, and isn't worth $200,000.

There can't be enough said about the importance of elected officials who ask questions and demand answers about how tax dollars are spent.


Sir, this is not an omen, or voodoo strike, or some kind of witchcraft. It is straight-talk! ( Let him who have ears to hear, LET HIM HEAR! ) Straight talk letting this community know this is 2014 and not 1912! Every citizen has the vote now and not just some. The vote empowers all the members of a community to vote as they please, according to each voter's own conscious. I agree with you that Mr. Osteen seemed to be a casualty of the fallout or residue left behind from another member of LM City Council and the alleged, foolish, and insensitive remarks criticizing minority children's use of city facilities, and minority candidates' performance in other city organizations, along with other stuff!
You spoke of accusations being bought up by Mr. & Ms. Bethea coming after the primary where Ms. Bethea lost her bid for the District "B" seat. Well sir, what about all these MULTIPLE charges of improprieties and wrongdoings against the Mayor and City Manager WHICH WERE ALLEGED TO HAVE HAPPENED BACK IN THE DAY, coming flying into play after, the accusations on that parking lot were caught on tape? AHHHHHAAAA! We don't want to talk about that do we? Why is it the public is just now hearing all these accusations?
AS long as we are taking a stroll down the highway of yesteryear and memory lane, why don't we talk a little about Mr. Gages' time as City Manager here, and how everything he wanted weather it was good for the city or not, was RAMMED through by the "THREE AMIGOS!" Why is it that we don't want to bring all this up? You yourself dubbed them the "RUBBER STAMP CREW!" What kind of shape did those decisions leave the city's finances in? How did they get okayed, who voted for them? HEYYYYY! Lets have this discussion!
I want to drive home again what YOU are trying real hard to RAM down our throats, and that is, if all these malicious charges and vilifying accusations against the Mayor and City Manager are valid, WHY IS IT THAT THEY ARE NOW JUST COMING OUT, LATER, AFTER THE BETHEAS RELEASE A MOST TELLING AND DAMAGING RECORDING of African-Americans being disparaged racially by LM City Officials on a City owned parking lot at a City election? I can't seem to get a satisfactory answer to that, yet you keep bringing up 2012, and how the Mayor who had his hands full with racial acrimony and animosity going on in LM because of the removal of the first African-American Mayor from office along with a visit to the city from Quanell X. So he chose to refrain from throwing gasoline on an infernal fire of division already burning in the City of LM, So what? I would have done the same thing.
I think his exact words were, "LETS MOVE FORWARD TOGETHER!" I would urge this community to follow those words right now! Lets pick up the pieces, STOP BITCHING, put our heads together and move forward together responsibly!
You should know that a house nor a city divided SHALL stand,....NOT my words!
One other thing we must remember, and that is Texas City might not feel up to taking on the attitudes of a divided LaMarque who seems to be living in 1905 instead of 2014. If I was a TC resident and taxes-payer, I would not vote to pollute my community with this, it could be contagious!
This city is under siege,...under attack! It is time for those who are thinking in the Old Box, from down yonder, to get on board, public officials should tetain opinions but be discreet about expressing them ON A CITY PARKING LOT, WHILE REPRESENTINGS all taxpayers but expressing scurrilous rhetoric against a few!
Say what you will, say what you may, TIMES HAVE CHANGED!

Jake Feigle

The only charge I made against the Mayor and The City Manager was that if in fact Connie did make those remarks, she should have been brought up on the carpet. Racism should be addressed at once, no matter who does it. To not inform the rest of the Council shows another example of bad judgment. All of this talk is not getting any of us anywhere. Only way to get to the truth is for all of those involved submit to the polygraph test. The selected special investigator will not solve the issues. .So lets get on with the test. My bet is that there will be no test given. And Connie should not be the first one to submit. The accusers should go first. She is innocent until proven guilty.


SO IS THE MAYOR AND CITY MANAGER! They are innocent until You and the other accusers prove them guilty! So, lets just wait on the investigations to provide more light on this before we go off maligning the character and reputation of people! That sword cuts both ways EarlyBird, and I still like and respect you! I retain the right to swat at you every now and then though! [smile]

Jake Feigle

You are so right The solution is the same. Polygraph tests. As I said before. I do not think that will happen. If it does not, we will never know the truth. And by the way JBG, many people have been that you and Mayor Hocking are one and the same. I have been saying no. But after my talk with the Mayor yesterday, and rereading some of your blogs I now believe they are right. If I am right, I view that message from you a couple of days ago as awaning as to what could happen to me if I kept up what I have been doing. Like I said yesterday, Threats will not sway me. And by the way, when I returned to these blogs I said my name is Jake and said am back.. I do not hide my identity behind an alias. If I feel I am right, I will not back down.

Leonard T. Payne

If La Marque loses James Osteen from City Council, then the La Marque City Council and the LMISD Board can consolidate their meetings to the same time and place.
Money spent, nothing accomplished..

Down hill from there..

Island Bred

I personally think the council is led by a far smarter man than that. LMISD is made up of more folks that live outside of LM than live in it. I just don't see that happening - too many different perspectives go to council meeting. After all LM can pull a recall - LMISD doesn't seem to care.

Walter Manuel

"We are going to be like Hitchcock and Freddysville............ sad but sure looks like it's gonna be a long dry spell".

Bingo Margurite!

I've been saying for a while too that La Marque is slowly becoming what Hitchcock/Freddysville was 30 years ago and now it is obviously coming true.

Your right, life will go on and should Mr. Osteen lose this election, he can always run for Keith Bell's seat next year since Keith Bell can no longer run in the district for which he is currently representing.

The citizens of District B will have a year to see the mistake that they might have just made and the life that they created for everyone else in LM should Mr. Osteen lose this election.

Now bring on the polygraphs so that the truth can FINALLY set EVERYONE free![whistling]


Sir, you are now disappointing me. It looks like you are becoming delusional in trying to say I AM THE MAYOR OF LM? I can't even sing! Now, I think I'm losing that respect I had for you, because you are now allowing fear to enter in and you are saying even more things that are not true! ( Grasping!!! )
Also as far as my posting under JBG is concerned, it is a habit from long ago and I don't care to change it, So what? If that unsettles some people, to bad! I've been called the worst by the best and I"M STILL BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING!
You make me laugh about this threat thing your are talking about because I don't threaten individuals on this forum or anywhere else for that matter. ( If you find where I've threaten somebody, then DO THE RIGHT THING FLAG IT FOR THE FORUM POLICE ). I think the truth is cutting you going and coming and you are feeling the pressure in looking for a way out, and can't find one! I will say one thing and that is the TRUTH will expose a lie seven ways to Sunday!
Why don't we talk about the "THREE AMIGOS"...Mr. Gauge, or the "RUBBER STAMP CREW?" I mean if you want to bring up the past, lets bring IT UP!!!! You want to bring up everything else! I'm just the voice of reason here, punching holes in all this HYPERBOLIC reign of FEAR you are trying to inflict on this community by trying to minimize what was said on those tapes in that parking lot several weeks ago, by casting a bad light on the Mayor and City Manager! Some of us Old LM Taxpayers are not that stupid!
What was that excuse I heard about that parking lot fiasco? "IT WAS A LONG DAY?" Get real man, or at least be creative! I can see I was wrong about you, because If you think I am the Mayor of LM, YOU CAN BE HORNSWOGGLED IN TO BELEIVING THE WORLD IS SQUARE! LOLOLOLOLOLO!
Ohhhh, you might also want to know I was also accused of being Rev. Daniels and and a few other people as well! I tell you what you do. Show me where I have threaten anyone on this forum DEACON JAKE, and we can continue this conversation.
Otherwise I will continue to back the City Council, The City Manager, and the Mayor.
I thought you were a "TRUE BELIEVER" but I guess I was wrong. Hey, you have a nice day okay? Get you some rest Deacon, because it seems as though you are burning the candle at both ends. Remember this, "A Candle Lit Twice As Bright Only Burns Half As Long. You are wearing yourself out trying to protect and blame.
You sure you don't want to wait on the investigations to return?

Jake Feigle

One thing I do not have is fear. You try to hard to make excuses for Hocking. And you say things that could be a carbon copy of what he says. Pretty much word for word. It really doesn't matter to me one way or the other if you are hocking or not. it will not change how I post. I do nor know anyone else that says Hocking and Butler were right not to confronts Mrs. Trube ion 2012 , It was their duty to confront her IF THAT WAS TRUE. And the other members of the Council should have been told. But as I

Jake Feigle

I do not know what happened , but I could not finish that statement. What I was saying is , only polygraphs will arrive at the truth. And I bet that does not happen. Saying that Connie should go first is a bunch of crap. She is innocent until proven guilty. The ones accusing her needs to prove their point. I think this is the excuse for them not doing the polygraph tests, by saying Connie must go first,. And when she refuses, they will have their excuse. I have been saying all along, that they will find a way to avoid the test. I hope I am wrong, and they take the test. But I will not hold my breath


Okay Mr. Earlybird,

Let us not tit-for-tat here like children. I'm not up for that, so I'm not going there with you. You have made your point. Someone has fed you a line of BS that JBG is none other than His Honor The Mayor Of LaMarque, and you are now on this forum publicly going off arguing the point! MAN!!!!!!!
You are something else! I would imagine a great many of the Galveston County readers on this forum are laughing hysterically at you right about now, or at least smiling with one eye closed out of concern for you. lololololololololololololol! You're right I will defend Mayor Hocking and the City Manager from what I see as wild unjust statements of retributions, and I said this from the beginning and I quote:
"If anyone is going to make contrary, unfounded, maligned accusations and charges against the man I know as Bobby Hocking, they better bring more than unsubstantiated proof or conjecture!" Now I stand by that!
The funny thing is, Up to now, I would have said the same thing about the man I knew as Earlybird! Thing is, the Earlybird who stood up against Mr. Gage, and the "RUBBER STAMP CREW" and supported Mayor Sam, in the face of grievous criticisms and facetious, blindside, rhetoric coming from many in this community,... would not have allowed folks to make the kind of fool out of him the way you are doing now by publicly saying and inferring that JBG "The SmackTalker" is none other than The Mayor Of LM. Ohhhh Jesus! Lolololololololololol. One lives and one learns!
Let me say this, and I mean this to the bottom of my heart! A man can do worse to me, FAR WORSE,...than to say that I am just like the BOBBY HOCKING I know about! ( I wish I could get that high note like him ). So you and others think what you like, because frankly..... I don't care, and I'm pretty sure the Mayor is having a ball laughing at you too! If he is not it will be a wonder! lololololololololololololol.
So, you keep punching out there trying to dodge the truth, and I will keeping making my points. Let the people, be the judges, but I will NOT, sit by and let all your hyperbolic, sided, satanic, deceptive, accusations, meant to cast doubt in the minds of voters in LM go unchallenged. You can count on that. I'll treat it like I treat my preaching of the gospel, I'm going to post it, weather people believe me or not is on them, I will post the truth as I know it!
You seem to want to castigate and demean everyone who is not on the side of those YOU support, and you point out why they will not make good public servants. Well, look again because I don't think what you are spewing is working! So, again you've made your point, YOU are supporting your candidate, AND I'M SUPPORTING A FAIR SYSTEM!
Now, Unless something significant comes up, I'm not going to play your little tit-for-tat, debate game anymore. good night,...have a good one and blessing to you.
------- signoff Bobby, ....Ohhhhh ...I mean ""Bo".....Ahhhh, naw...naw... I mean Reverend Dan....Naw ...what am I saying,.... I meant JBG! [beam]

Jake Feigle

You may be right JBG. Maybe people are laughing at me, but at least they know who they are laughing at. I do not hide behind a fake name Why are you so up tight if some people think you and the Mayor are one and the same? Are you not as sure about him as you say? I think the thing you are most upset with me is because I say that the Mayor and City Manager should have addressed the issue with Connie in 2012. That is unless it did not happen as they say. I would say that both Bobby and Carol would like to see James off the Council because James has questioned their actions many times, saving the tax payers much money. I have been a strong supporter of both of them from the start, but in the last 5 or 6 months the problems began. At first I tried to bury my head and ignore the issues. But a person can only bury their head for a limited time. I attend all of the Council meetings. I do not judge on hear say. JBG , if you cannot stomach what I have to say, so be it. But I will still be the same tomorrow , as I am today. In the past , you and I have mostly agreed. And I can surely understand why you disagree with me now, if , in fact, you and bobby are one and the same.

Jake Feigle

I like both Bobby and Carol, but I will not let that interfere with my stand on what I think is right. Many times I wished I did not have to say some of the things that I say. I cannot ignore the facts.

Mr. Tamug93

Everyone knows that Woods does not live in the district he was elected for. He lives in Colony Park, where any number of residents there can vouch for. Woods is the same kind of politician that continues to get elected because he uses racial strong-arming and cheating (walking voters into an election place) to threaten the "constituents" that he is supposed to represent. Woods is no different that Sheila Jackson Lee on every level... I would expect the people from her district to not be able to know the difference, but thought that people in Galveston where a little smarter...

Joseph Cantu

Come on folks in La Marque, can’t we play in the sandbox together for the benefit of our children and community? As John Lennon sang many years ago in his song long ago - Imagine

Walter Manuel

Come on Jjcat, seriously?

Take off your blinders, from your previous posts here in the forums you know what's happening in LMISD and now in the city.

For the benefit of the children you ask? Is this type of education and now dirty politics what you call "doing it for the kids"???

If you think this is what we should be doing for the "community and the children" then you are obviously part of the problem rather than the solution. [sneaky]


It is a sad day when voters vote for skin color instead of who can do the best job for the city they live in; black, white, yellow or brown. I vote for the best candidate, regardless. I know I am one of few.

Ana Draa

Very disappointed to see a servant leader like Cornelia defeated, it's a real loss for the whole island, not just her district. That said, it's very tough to take when the person who "won" was not eligible to run! So everyone is talking about Woods not living in district 1...who is investigating? Galveston Daily News, sounds like there is a story there!

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